Gibside’s Walled Garden: Redesign. Renew. Revive

A flower in Gibside's Walled Garden

A little backstory...

Work began on 'Mr Bowes' new 3.5 acre Walled Garden in 1734, using bricks made at Gibside which cost 6/6 per 1,000.

This was designed to replace an earlier kitchen garden situated much nearer to the Hall. It offered fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and even fish to those at the estate.

Unfortunately, after his death George’s beloved daughter Mary Eleanor was tricked into a second marriage by Andrew Robinson Bowes and almost lost Gibside altogether.

After what must have felt like a lifetime of fighting and struggle, she reigned supreme in changing the law for women and towards the end of her life was able to enjoy the freedom her now ex-husband had never granted her.

One of the 18th Century's richest heiresses regined supreme and was a cause celebre of the Georgian era. 

Andrew "Stoney" Bowes was not victorious in the end
The original artwork depicting Andrew Robinson Bowes Esqr as he appeared in Court by James Gillray

The future: Gibside’s Walled Garden: Redesign. Renew. Revive

The Walled Garden is now, in many ways, an homage to Mary Eleanor and offers a place that people can visit and experience freedom in the way that she was never able to do.

Through a two year HLF funded project, Gibside’s Walled Garden: Redesign. Renew. Revive, the aim is to highlight this beauty spot and encourage people not to simply walk through it, but to enjoy, admire and immerse themselves in the garden.

It will deliver an educational and engaging programme which includes a range of new tours, ‘meet the expert’ sessions, art installations and strengthening links with local universities, schools and groups.

Children planting seeds in the walled garden at Gibside
Children planting seeds in the walled garden at Gibside