Lord Fairhaven's Garden

It's just over 50 years since Lord Fairhaven's death and his bequest of Anglesey Abbey to the National Trust. Initially after buying Anglesey Abbey in 1926 Lord Fairhaven showed little interest in gardening, however in the early 1930s, he embarked on what is considered to be one of the finest garden designs of the 20th century. Join us for a tour of some of the highlights of Lord Fairhaven's garden.

The Jubilee Avenue

1930 marked the 800th anniversary of the founding of Anglesey Priory. To mark the occassion Lord Fairhaven, placed a large urn on a plinth at the end of an avenue of elm trees known as the Daffodil Walk.

Sadly the trees sucumbed to Dutch elm disease and were felled in the early 1970's,  The trees were replaced with hornbeams, as this co-incided with the Silver Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth, the avenue was renamed the Jubilee Avenue. 

The Formal Garden

In the mid 1930s Lord Fairhaven began creating a number of enclosed flower gardens. He believed that a garden could be planted with a single species, which would bloom for only a short period and be visited only at this time. The first of these were the Formal Garden where 4000 blue and white hyacinth bulbs were planted. Later  he introduced yellow and red dahlias to provide summer and early autumn colour.

The Dahlia Garden

The curving Dahlia Garden was created to provide floral interest throughout the year. Deep blue forget-me nots and tulips in spring, with dahlias providing late summer colour.  With the milder winters we experiencing today, the dahlias continue to flower right through to late november, by which time it is too late to plant spring bedding.

The Rose Garden

An area of dilapidated greenhouses, weed ridden paths and abandoned borders, was transformed to create the quintessentially English Rose Garden. Forty beds were dug each planted with a different variety of rose, with over 1000 bushes planted.

A garden of statues

Lord Fairhaven's collection of garden statuary is widely regarded as one of the most important cared for by the National Trust.

Lord Fairhaven's taste in sculpture was conservative. He chose mythological and biblical subjects and ornament rich in classical motifs.

The Herbaceous Border

The curving Herbaceous Border enclosed with beech hedging was designed to be viewed in the summer months. In June irises, lupins and pyrethrums bloom, before giving way to delphiniums, lilies, thalictrums, heleniums, achilleas and blue salvias in July.

Remarkably, the borders have never been replanted, though varieties which have not thrived have been changed. 

The Temple Lawn

The coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth in 1953 provided the opportunity to create yet another commemorative area, the Temple and Temple Lawn.

The Temple is the most spectacular feature within the gardens. The monumental structure consists of 10 columns, which came from Lord Chesterfield's London house, which was demolished in 1937. Two lead statues of lions guard the entrance, whilst inside the temple stands a marble statue of David, readying his sling to slay Goliath. 

The Pilgrims' Lawn

Lord Fairhaven's last major project was the creation of Pilgrims' Lawn.  Island beds were planted with trees and shrubs, providing vivid yellow and purple colouring particularly in autumn.  Sadly Lord Fairhaven would not live to see this area of the garden in all its glory. It was completed in 1967, a year after his death.