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Things to see at the Breaker's Yard

Breaker's Yard, showing The Grange, a multi-storey caravan sculpture formed from scrap caravans, and various plants.
The Grange caravan sculpture in the Breaker's Yard | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Next to Sutton House sits an award-winning garden that just 10 years ago was an industrial wasteland. The Breaker’s Yard is now a wonderful pocket park, where you can enjoy the beauty of nature and explore the playful features that celebrate the garden’s former life as a car scrapyard.

Closure due to staff training

Please note, Sutton House and Breaker's Yard will be closed between Sunday 21 May and Sunday 11 June, due to staff training. We're sorry for the inconvenience this may cause and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Visiting the Breaker's Yard

The Breaker's Yard is open:

  • 11am - 4.00pm on Fridays and Sundays.

There is no entry fee for visiting the Breaker's Yard.

A playful retreat

The space may have been transformed, but the yard’s former history is still celebrated. ‘The Grange’ is a quirky two-storey caravan and an upcycler’s dream. It’s made from scrap caravans from the 1970s and is fitted out with items salvaged from stately homes - peek inside its windows.

Other features are the bespoke gates that lead to the public road outside and the surrounding conservation area. These were crafted to include more than 1,000 toy cars, many of them made by Matchbox, which was based in Hackney.

Container garden for wildlife

Insects and birds are attracted to the Breaker’s Yard's small orchard, as well as the flowering buddleia and pots of edibles including herbs, fruits and flowers. The apple trees are native to south-east England, and many plants were selected because of their ability to grow in containers and poor soil.

Children playing in the courtyard at Sutton House and Breaker's Yard, London
Children playing in the courtyard at Sutton House and Breaker's Yard | © National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

A tropical backdrop

Eighteenth-century Hackney was known for its hothouses, including the largest in the world at the time. These indoor tropical rainforests housed a huge variety of tropical plants, and much of the planting in the garden here in the Breaker’s Yard is inspired by fashionable plants of that time, including palms and bamboo.

Hidden historic gems

The clue to the garden’s history is in its name: it was once a car-breaker’s yard. Originally belonging to a neighbouring property, the space was offered to Sutton House on the condition it would become a garden. If the yard had remained private, many views of the house and its beautiful Tudor brickwork and architectural features would have stayed hidden.

Creating the garden

In 2011, the vision to transform the scrapyard into a community garden began. Thousands of local people and specialists were consulted for their ideas, skills and local knowledge. The final design was by award-winning Royal Horticultural Society landscape designer Daniel Lobb, taking three years to complete. In 2022, a collaborative project including organisations Queer Botany and Rainbow Grow worked with artist Daniel Baker on a garden project, to add planting around 'The Grange' caravan, called the Platinum Garden.

A child laughs while sitting at a table doing a craft activity at Sutton House, London, while her mother watches, smiling

Book your visit

Please note you need to book tickets to Sutton House and Breaker's Yard. You can book for today up until 8am. Every Thursday time slots will be available for the next 14 days.

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