The Rose Garden at Anglesey Abbey

Complimenting the wider gardens, the Rose Garden beams with a quintessential English atmosphere. From early June, right through to October, it produces a vibrant display of 40 different varieties of rose, with a wonderful scent in the air to match.

Situated on what was once the site of dilapidated greenhouses, weed-ridden paths and abandoned vegetable borders, the Rose Garden was amongst one of Lord Fairhaven's first garden projects. Prior to completion as a Rose Garden, it once was an early version of a Herbaceous Border before the border you see today was completed in the 1950's.

The current scheme, was completed in 1939 and remains the same to this day. Many of the varieties on display in the Rose Garden can be found in our Plant Centre, which is open daily and found located through the Shop.


The natural soil in Cambridgeshire is, in fact, too light and dry to successfully grow roses, which meant that each bed was excavated and 'Kettering Loam' was imported. Today, the gardeners use our home-grown mulch which is made by composting areas such as the Herbaceous Border once it has finished flowering. 

An optical illusion

The design of the Rose Garden is very clever, and is based around symmetry, offering the perfect setting for lead statues of Diana and Apollo on either side. Made up of 40 square, or rectangular beds, each bed contains a different variety of rose providing the space with a wide selection of colours and scents as you wander through. 

The garden feels bigger than it actually is, and there's a very clever reason behind the reason why. When designing it, Lord Fairhaven used an optical illusion that wasn't detected until our current Head Gardener, David Jordan, measured the beds some years ago. Although each bed looks perfectly square, they are slightly narrower at the back than they are at the front, which tricks the brain into believing there's more depth than there really is. The beds at the front of the garden are also slightly bigger in dimensions, adding to the optical illusion. 

A close up of a pink rose at Anglesey Abbey
Picture of 2016 Dahlia Lapel Badge next to a dahlia flower

Support the work in the gardens 

Pick up one of our garden inspired pin badges on your next visit to play your part in keeping Anglesey Abbey's gardens blooming. With three to choose from depending on the time of your visit, use it as a memento from your day spent with us. Badges can be picked up for a suggested £1 donation at various points across the estate. Looking for other way's to support us? Why not take part in the Special Places raffle. Click here to find out more.