The gardens at Goddards

A formal pond and statue with reflections, surrounded by tree and a blue sky

Explore the five acres of garden rooms on a walk in the private haven of the Terry family on the outskirts of York city centre.

Goddards is now closed until spring 2022

The secret garden 

The first impression of the house is it peeking through the foliage and pollarded chestnut trees as a secret escape for the Terry family in the centre of York. Hidden away from the busy street set amongst glorious gardens. 

Your dog is welcome to join you on your visit to the garden, please keep on a short lead. In some places plese give way to other visitors to help everybody keep a safe distance from other households. 

Enjoy an elevated view of the garden from the terrace
The terrace at Goddards
Enjoy an elevated view of the garden from the terrace

A working garden... 

The kitchen garden

Now only taking up part of the lawn, but once responsible for feeding the Terry household and supplying the kitchens with vegetables and other staples. The kitchen garden is a prime example of what can be done with a small space. Noel Terry’s favourite apple variety, James Grieve, grows in the nearby orchard looking out across the racecourse; linking the Terry home to the heart of the Terry chocolate empire.

The greenhouse

From the exotic to the delicious, step inside to see for yourself the varieties taking seed. You might even find a gardener pausing over a brew and happy to have a chat.

Be sure to explore the furthest corners of the garden
A glasshouse surrounded by garden
Be sure to explore the furthest corners of the garden

Garden rooms 

The gardens are divided into rooms as a nod to the arts and crafts style inpiration. The idea behind the rooms was that of a continuation of the house extending beyond the walls and into the garden. The outdoor rooms, similarly to those in the house, each perform a separate function with hedges and shrubs providing the structure.  

The herbaceous borders

Running across the back of the house is certainly one of the most spectacular rooms of the garden, coming alive with Delphiniums, Sedums and brightly coloured Rudbeckia blooms in late summer.

Wander among the colourful summer borders
A border full of varied clumps of colours flowers
Wander among the colourful summer borders

Bowling green and tennis lawn

It was always a garden to be lived in as well as looked at and guests, along with the family, enjoyed several sports in the garden. Firm family favourites that you can play when you visit are tennis, clock golf and croquet. The Terry children were known for racing up and down the gardens on their bikes, speeding down the hill and attempting to get back up to the top in one go.

The terrace 

The elevated position of the house allowed the Terrys to look down on their once bountiful rose garden and now allows you to appreciate the garden as Dillistone intended - perhaps with a refreshing drink in hand.

The fragrant garden

The latest garden room for you to explore using the original 1928 design as inspiration and it will grow in the coming years filling out as the plants bed in, creating a pocket of space filled with floral scents from late spring into summer.

Take a walk on the wild side 

Explore the garden rooms and see what wildlife calls Goddards home
Three adults surrounded by tall and colourful flowers
Explore the garden rooms and see what wildlife calls Goddards home

Explore further into the garden for a clear change in design and feel. The formality and precision of the borders, hedges and lawns ebbs away and what is left is a much looser and natural display. 

The rock garden 

Is a hidden and peaceful retreat with the wildlife pond adding a different feeling to the more formal pond in the lawn. After a particularly wet spell look out for water cascading over the limestone. It's the perfect place to pause a while and watch wildlife.

The history of the garden

The Terry family in black and white, standing in a row, tallest member of the family down to the smallest!

A family garden

Inspired by a movement and designed to meet the needs of a growing family, Noel Terry created a garden as beautiful as it was enjoyable. What you see today at Goddards isn't a major change from 1927 when it was first realised, a testament to its craftsmanship. Where planting schemes have been lost over the years we're working hard to replant and reclaim to, in time, get as close to the original plans as is feasible.

The terrace and herbaceous border at Goddards in summer

Inspired by design

The arts and crafts movement in design was a reaction to the excess of Victorian industrialisation and the new notions of a mass market. It grew from a desire to revive traditional craftsmanship and restore simplicity and honesty back to design. Designers such as William Morris and Charles Rennie Macintosh wanted to reform the way things were made and rebel against this new age of mass production.

A copy of the original Fragrant Garden plans for Goddards

George Dillistone

Another cornerstone of the movement was the relationship between the architect and gardener. George Dillistone worked closely alongside the architect Walter Brierley to achieve harmony between the two components. Constant letters back and forth ensured a marriage of the two disciplines that was to become synonymous with the arts and crafts designs of the day.

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