Historic walled gardens open for the first time

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One of Europe’s largest walled gardens is set to open its doors to visitors for the first time over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The privately owned historic gardens are a key part of Croome’s landscape designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. Although the rest of the parkland is now owned and managed by the National Trust and is open to visitors, the walled garden is owned by Chris and Karen Cronin who acquired it separately and rescued it from ruin nearly 15 years ago.

They have restored many of the buildings and large greenhouses with great care and attention and much more work is still to be carried out. The Cronins have been working with the National Trust to finally open the 18th century walled gardens to visitors over the three days of the upcoming August bank holiday.

“To finally open the walled garden to the public is a huge milestone and the whole family is really excited by the prospect” said Chris Cronin, who with his wife, has self-funded the garden’s dramatic rescue from dereliction to delight. “We bought most of the original garden and its attached cottage in 1999 after we fell in love with it. We both saw a massive potential for the place even though it was overgrown and completely uninhabitable.

“The walled garden has always been hidden behind closed doors due to its secluded setting, even though it’s right next to Croome Court” he continued, “but we’re now ready to open the gardens to visitors for three days over the bank holiday weekend and we’re looking forward to finally welcoming people inside.”

Visitors over the three days will be able to see the extensive restoration work on the greenhouses, the beautiful border planting, the new rose garden and working vegetable plots. As well as seeing the gardens in their summer glory, there will be lots of free activities to entertain families with seed planting, storytelling, big games, face painting and a trail.

5 acres of the extensive walled garden will be open on Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Monday 25 August from 10.30am until 5pm with last entry at 4.30pm.

The gardens can only be accessed through Croome’s National Trust visitor centre where admission tickets can be purchased. Walled Garden entry will cost £5 for an adult and £2.50 for children in addition to showing your National Trust membership card or purchasing a parkland admission ticket if you're not a member.