Discovering the walled garden
Very little information has been available about the walled garden as most records were lost or destroyed, and extensive research was undertaken to uncover the garden's history.
The Parrys: the landscaping years
The idea of a kitchen garden was first proposed in the eighteenth century by William Parry. To tempt his wife to Hereford, Parry promised to make huge improvements to the mansion and pleasure grounds an so working with the renowned landscape gardener, Humphrey Repton, the walled garden was created as part of the overall scheme.
The Griffiths: a century of change
The estate was sold to John Griffiths. To support the large Griffiths family, the walled garden was transformed. A glasshouse and frames were added, that helped grow new produce such as vines and melons.
New Tenants: the country retreat
The Griffiths family rented out The New Weir for forty years. One of the tenant families was the Burneys who used The Weir as their country retreat. The youngest, Cecily, took many photographs, providing us with the earliest known pictures of the walled garden.
Roger Charlton Parr : the glory days
Roger Charlton Parr took over in 1923 and was responsible for the garden's glory days, as they came to be known. With the assistance of his head gardener, William Boulter, Parr oversaw many improvements to the walled garden. He replaced the original glasshouse with a Foster & Pearson – the 'Rolls Royce' of glasshouses. Also, an expensive Robin Hood Beeston boiler was installed to heat the glasshouse.
Victor Morris: the last tenant
The glory days ended with Parr's death in 1958, and the house and grounds were acquired by the National Trust. Out of respect for Parr's wishes, the National Trust enabled Victor Morris, his close friend and chauffeur, to live at The New Weir during his lifetime. However, the walled garden became neglected. Morris hired only two part-time gardeners who struggled with the sheer workload, and the garden became completely overgrown.
The walled garden: restoration
In 2009 the National Trust began the task of returning the garden back into a kitchen garden. Head gardener, Ned Price and his team of staff and volunteers have been working hard to restore the garden. Today the garden provides something different each season for you to discover.
Collect your lanyard from the kiosk or walled garden to learn more about the walled garden.