Avebury Manor and Garden

What lies behind the door of this 16th century house, Avebury Manor?

The television series The Manor Reborn, which aired in December 2011, showed how nine of Avebury Manor's rooms and part of the garden were redecorated and redesigned in five different styles: Tudor, Queen Anne, Georgian, Victorian and 20th century. This imaginative process drew on the team's expertise, historical research and inventories from other houses of the selected periods to help recreate inspirational interiors for the rooms.

The refurbishment of Avebury Manor was designed so that the rooms reflected the period in which the residents of Avebury Manor lived and you can learn about these people as you go around.  Furniture and objects were either recreated by modern craftsmen or genuine antique furniture was restored. All the 'new' furniture needed to be made strong enough to be used, sat on and touched. 

Our conservators – from stone and plasterwork specialists to painting experts – were on call and other National Trust houses, Erddig, Polesden Lacey and Dyrham Park, make cameo appearances on the show to demonstrate interior design across different chapters of history. 

Highlights of Avebury Manor

One of the most unique things about Avebury Manor is that you are not kept away with barriers, you are encouraged to sit on the furniture, lie on the beds and play snooker in the Billiard Room.  The only exception being the Chinese hand painted wallpaper in the Georgian Dining Room which will damage if touched.
The Tudor Dining Room
Tudor feast on oak table
The Tudor Dining Room

A Tudor dining room was created with hand crafted oak furniture and rush mat flooring.  The marriage room was also recreated, inspired by the marriage of widowed Debora Dunch to the High Sheriff of Wiltshire in the late 1590s.  
The Georgian Dining Room
Dining room white tablecloth christmas
The Georgian Dining Room

A large, light Palladian dining room was decorated to illustrate the Williamsons' residence during the Georgian era. The walls are covered with hand-painted wallpaper from China, which includes some images of Avebury and reflects Williamson’s status as a well-travelled man of importance.
The south library, now the Billiard Room, was originally created out of a service room by the Jenners. It has been furnished with cosy armchairs where visitors can sit and read, or play a game of billiards, just as the Jenners' guests could have done in the early 20th century.

Avebury Manor Garden

This delightful garden is arranged as a series of 'rooms', each with a different character, including Kitchen Garden, Topiary Garden, Lions Walk, Church Garden, East Garden, Half Moon Garden, Orchard, Monks Garden and South Lawn.
This year you will find (on sunny Summer days) picnic blankets and steamer chairs available for you to use in the Church Garden, why not bring a book and take some time out in this tranquil place.
Avebury Manor Garden June 2016
Gardens in sunshine
Avebury Manor Garden June 2016

Throughout the year you will see many changes taking place, but in the summer months you can expect to see a wide variety of annual plants across all areas of the Manor Garden, especially Monks Garden and Half-Moon Border.  Plants will include Zinnia, Salvia, Cleome, Dahlia, Cosmos, Cornflower, Marigold, Nasturtium, Sweet Pea and some other interesting and unusual varieties.

Changes in the garden

Topiary garden being managed for box blight
Box hedges
Topiary garden being managed for box blight

Last autumn the Avebury team were devastated to learn that Box Blight  – a widely known disease that disfigures and kills all species of this popular topiary plant - has been confirmed in the Avebury Manor Garden. We are not alone in this; many well known gardens across the country are suffering from this destructive disease. Despite trying a number of different methods to save the box plants we have been largely unsuccessful, so are now having to manage the decline of some areas and completely remove box in others. As a result some areas are in the process of being changed, whilst the remaining Manor Garden box hedges may appear less densely leafed and areas around the Topiary Garden are restricted to reduce the potential to spread the disease further.
The Monks Garden has been almost completely stripped out and undergoing renovation. This is allowing us to enable easier access on wider paths and increase plant diversity. Other areas have been re-worked to spread colour across the garden, paying due respect to the different feel each garden “room” has. 
Please do ask the gardeners if you have any questions, they are always keen to talk about their work. The team are looking on this as a challenge and an opportunity for change in difficult circumstances.