The unique Auricula theatre at Calke Abbey © NTPL/National Trust/Steve Biggins

The unique Auricula theatre at Calke Abbey

What's in bloom?

Spring theatre displays begin

Auriculas are now in bloom and are being added to the Auricula Theatre. This display area was built in 1830. They were once common-place in stately homes but as tastes changed they were destroyed. The Auricula Theatre at Calke Abbey is unique as it is the only surviving example in the country. 




The Kitchen Garden

This was once a productive kitchen garden until the Second World War. Just like the house this garden declined in the twentieth century. It houses the Orangery, the oldest surviving garden building.

The Physic Garden

This eighteenth century garden was originally created to cultivate medicinal herbs and plants. Today, it is still a productive garden and provides fresh herbs to the restaurant in the stable block.

Gardeners' Bothy

Once the nerve centre of the 6 acres of formal gardens this building reflects the faded grandeur of the mansion. Peer into the ground floor rooms which are full of equipment from yesteryear.

Pleasure Grounds

View of the Pleasure Grounds at Calke Abbey

The informal planting of trees and shrubs in the early nineteenth century provided a natural screen from the mansion and provided a perfect setting for summer picnics and evening strolls.


The Grotto is tucked away in the Pleasure grounds and is well worth a visit. It was built as a fashionable addition to the gardens in the nineteenth century.

Meet the Gardeners

Some of the staff and volunteers that help care for Calke Abbey gardens © Peter Staveley

Calke gardens look spectacular throughout the year thanks to our gardeners and garden volunteers. It's not all about plants and trees they know about the history of the gardens too.