Things to see and do in Compton Castle garden

A bench among the roses in the rose garden at Compton Castle

The garden surrounding Compton Castle is small but perfectly formed. With a medieval style knot garden, rose garden and orchard, take your time wandering around enjoying the variety of plants and the sights and smells.

Lawns and orchards

As you arrive at Compton Castle the tidy lawns either side of the central path, bordered with lavender, are the first thing you see. This sunny spot is home to traditional games such as croquet and quoits if you fancy a game or you're welcome to just relax on the lawn. Through a gateway at the bottom left of the lawn is an orchard where dogs are welcome.


Rose garden and knot garden

Steps at the top left of the lawns lead you to the rose garden. In the summer months the heady smell of roses and scented wisteria hits you before you finish climbing the steps, and then the sight of many roses climbing the pergola and lining the paths takes your breath away. Look out for the Armillary Sphere in the rose garden which was forged in 1983 to mark the 400th anniversary of Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s colonization of Newfoundland, and take a seat on the bench by the pond for a quiet moment to take it all in. The knot garden also commemorates this as at its heart is a topiary squirrel, inspired by Sir Humphrey's ship The Squirrel.

Can you spot the squirrel in the garden?
A view of the Knot Garden at Compton Castle, Devon
Can you spot the squirrel in the garden?

Thank you

The garden, planned by the Gilbert family and now cared for by a National Trust gardener and a team of volunteers, has grown through public donations and events. Additions such as the pergola in 2001 and the planting of the medieval style Knot Garden in 2003 wouldn't have been possible without public support, and that is true to this day. Funds raised through admissions income and raffle ticket sales go directly towards the care and upkeep of the Castle and garden.