Berrington Hall - Revisit, re-imagine, restore

A volunteer fixes a door frame in the garden at Berrington Hall in Herefordshire

Work is beginning this year to revisit, re-imagine and restore Berrington Hall; these projects include bringing to life the 18th century walled garden and pleasure grounds, repairing and restoring the stonework of the mansion and courtyard buildings, constructing a new service facility, upgrading our heating systems and installing a biomass boiler.

Read on to discover more about these projects, when they're due to start and how they will affect your visit. 

Reimagining the walled garden and pleasure grounds

Berrington’s walled garden and pleasure grounds was the final landscape masterpiece of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Commissioned in 1775, the curved walled garden is the only one of its kind to survive and thanks to our supporters, we’re now able to begin the urgent restoration work needed to save this unique vestige of Georgian garden design.

The rare curved walled garden at Berrington Hall
An aerial image of Berrington Hall and its curved walled garden
The rare curved walled garden at Berrington Hall

From 20 April, work will begin to demolish the agricultural buildings and lean-tos in the curved garden, which are having a detrimental impact on the original brickwork. In May, the bricks which make up the curved walled garden will start to be restored and urgent repairs made to ensure this rare structure survives for generations to come. This is likely to take many weeks to complete. The curved garden will be closed during this time, but you’ll be able to see the work in action from a designated viewing area.

Plans are also underway to revive the lost flower garden and laurel walk which used to exist in the pleasure grounds near the yew bush bath and fountain. This will involve opening up views, moving paths, planting new flower beds and creating unique and innovative horticultural displays. The project will be completed over the next few years. 

Restoring the stonework 

Berrington Hall is a red sandstone mansion of the late 18th century, designed by the architect Henry Holland and is an important example of Georgian design on a compact scale. The mansion, courtyard buildings and Triumphal Arch are constructed from what is believed to be Shuttocks Hill red sandstone which is Raglan mudstone. The stone has deteriorated over time and there is also evidence of damage caused by the corrosion and expansion of iron fixings to some areas of the mansion. 

Thanks to our supporters, a thorough programme of repair is being planned and we hope to start work by the end of 2020. This work will take around 5 years to complete and you'll see scaffolding around different parts of the site to enable the works to take place.  

The Triumphal Arch entrance to Berrington Hall
The Triumphal Arch gateway into Berrington Hall
The Triumphal Arch entrance to Berrington Hall

Constructing a new service facility 

A new service facility will be built along the back 'deliveries' drive which will house a number of operational components that have had to be relocated or created due to the urgent conservation works on the curved walled garden, changes to our heating systems and volunteer model. This facility will also improve our waste management by relocating our bin store and enable the restoration of the pleasure grounds around the laurel walk.

The biomass boiler and wood-chip store will require housing in a sensitive location in this area and maximises the efficiency of heat distribution to the mansion and courtyard buildings. 

This work is due to start during 2020 and is off the main visitor route. 

Switching to green energy 

A new renewables project is being developed for Berrington which will see woodchip from National Trust places in Herefordshire being used to heat the property as an environmentally friendly, green source of energy. A biomass boiler, boiler house and woodchip store will be installed in 2020-21. 

This project will also involve removing electric heaters in the mansion, which might cause some disruption to the visitor route as some rooms will need to be closed off while these are removed and floorboards are taken up. This work will take place over several years.