Biddulph Grange is the garden of gardens
Biddulph Grange Garden is one of the most exciting survivals of the great age of Victorian gardening. The international scope of the garden has been compared to the Great Exhibition of 1851 and design features from the exhibition can be found in the garden’s sculptures.
An international collection
The garden was the vision of one man, James Bateman who, from 1841, spent more than twenty years collecting plants from all over the world. Bateman didn't go on many of the expeditions himself, instead he employed plant hunters who sent the specimens back to him by sea.
The plants and trees were brought together at Biddulph amid rockwork, topiary, tree-stumps and an extraordinary collection of eclectic garden buildings designed by Bateman and Edward Cooke.
We have restored the Grade 1 listed garden to its Victorian heyday using historic descriptions and plans supported by archaeological evidence - the aim being to restore it as closely as possible to James Bateman’s original vision. The main source of inspiration and guidance for the restoration is an 1862 description of the gardens by Edward Kemp. First published in the Gardeners Chronicle, it is the only detailed description of the garden and grounds.
Restorations within the garden are ongoing; there are new things to see each year. The latest projects to be completed are the newly positioned hedges on Wellingtonia Avenue along with the restoration of the watchtower in the China garden which is now ready for you to climb. Ongoing projects include the restoration of the Geological Gallery (the garden's original entrance) and the clearance and replanting of the Glen.
Go on a global expedition
The garden is laid out so that the visitor is led from one area to another in a journey of discovery and exploration. Each garden is separated by hedges, banks and rockwork. Paths, steps and tunnels lead from one to area to another resulting in an intriguing journey of discovery.
The result is spectacularly picturesque including a Chinese landscape based on a willow pattern design; a glen; an Egyptian court and an Italianate garden. Integral to the garden are the rare and exotic plants from all over the globe as well as unusual features from the Victorian period. These include a stumpery, upside down trees and amazing rockwork.
A wide variety of wildlife can be seen, including numerous birds and insects, along with the fish who always enjoy a good feed.
Don’t forget to visit our newly refurbished garden shop during your visit to take home some beautiful colour for your own garden. You can even have your own little monkey puzzle tree, propagated by our gardeners.