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Visiting the garden at Tredegar House

Visitors in the gardens at Christmas, Tredegar House, Newport, Wales
Visitors in the gardens at Christmas, Tredegar House, Newport, Wales | © 1600807

In spring, summer and autumn, discover three gardens at Tredegar House: the colourful and wild Orchard Garden, the Cedar Garden with its large herbaceous borders and the Orangery Garden with its ornate parterre. Visit the monument erected to a much-loved horse of the first Lord Tredegar, 'Sir Briggs', who lived to enjoy a happy retirement at Tredegar.

Winter highlights at Tredegar House

Experience the winter ambiance at Tredegar House as it transitions into a landscape of frosty beauty. The vibrant autumn hues give way to a winter palette, revealing nature's artistry in the gardens.

The absence of summer blooms is replaced by a serene scene featuring delicate frost and glistening lawns. The historic buildings and formal garden walls, adorned with Boston ivy, display an interplay of frosty whites and deep greens. The mansion house sits on the edge of the cedar garden, creating a picturesque scene worthy of capturing in photographs as winter sets in. When the sun sets, the sparkle continues on, with lights in the trees and festivities around every corner.

The Orchard Garden

The largest of the three gardens, complete with an orchard full of apple trees and hidden pathways, there’s plenty of surprises to uncover.

The first detailed layouts of the garden in 1827 reveal a very productive garden, a level of self-sufficiency needed for a large mansion. As you wander through the garden, look out for the old pipes from long-gone hothouses where the Morgan family grew tropical fruit.

1930s menagerie

The exotic and ornamental features were added during the 19th and 20th centuries, giving a quirky feel to the Orchard Garden. In the 1930s the area towards the Gardener’s Cottage was used to house parts of Evan Morgan's menagerie.

Working together

Perhaps the best feature of the Orchard Garden is the partnership that helps to care for it. For more than 20 years Growing Space, a registered mental health charity based in Newport, has looked after the garden. They provide work skills and support for adults with mental illness to improve their quality of life and help them reach their life goals.

A view of the mansion house from the cedar garden, with Sir Briggs' stone obelisk in the foreground
The Cedar Garden, framed by large, herbaceous borders, is a testament to the animal lovers at Tredegar House. | © Andrew Butler, National Trust


The Cedar Garden

It’s likely that the Cedar Garden with its early origins and closeness to the house was once the Morgan family’s ‘Best Garden’. Flanked by imposing gateways and framed by large herbaceous borders, the Cedar Garden still retains its 19th-century layout divided by a central axial pathway.

An ancient tree

Dominated by a 250-year-old Cedar of Lebanon tree, the last of a possible six Cedar plantings, the Cedar Garden is a favourite spot for lounging, picnicking and playing. Keep an eye out for bear’s breeches, irises and forget-me-nots in the garden’s herbaceous borders.

'Sir Briggs'

At the heart of the garden is a stone obelisk, erected in memory of ‘Sir Briggs’, the horse who carried Godfrey Morgan, the first Lord Tredegar, during the Charge of the Light Brigade. Following the battle, Sir Briggs retired to Tredegar House to live out the rest of his days until he died in 1874 at the ripe old age of 28.

The garden is not only the resting place of this heroic horse, but also features three more headstones dedicated to the family's much-loved dogs Peeps, Friday and Barry.

A view of the Orangery and the Parterre, which has geometric sections of lawn and patterns created on the ground using sand and shells at Tredegar House, Newport.
The Orangery and the Parterre at Tredegar House | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The Orangery Garden

The Orangery Garden is the smallest of the three gardens and gives an impression of how it would have looked more than 200 years ago when the Morgans lived here.

The intricate, undulating design of the ornamental parterre display features a variety of different-coloured minerals including seashells, crushed lime mortar, brick dust, coal dust, white and orange sands and grass.

During the 1930s the Orangery was not only used by Evan Morgan for his infamous garden parties, but also as a place to keep his exotic birds. The Orangery now houses a variety of fruit trees and herbaceous plants known to have been grown during the 18th century.

Cefn Mabli Shovelboard

The most impressive feature of the Orangery is the 42-foot-long Cefn Mabli Shovelboard. One of the great wonders of Wales, this shovelboard is the longest single plank oak table-top in Britain. Made in the Civil War period for Cefn Mabli House, the shovelboard was already famous in the 17th century.

'The Gallery of Kevenmabley hath in it of note ... an extraordinary shovelboard of 42 foot in length and of one entire plank of an oak whereof 20 foot was also cut off before.'

- Thomas Dinely, 1684

The Laundry Garden

After visiting the formal gardens, why not visit the Laundry Garden in the Home Farm? Renovated as an accessible community garden in 2019, this green space is filled with bee-friendly plants, vegetables and even has a quiet space for those looking to avoid the crowds and have a moment of peace in nature. The Laundry Garden is free to access between 10.30am and 4pm.


Things to do for families in the garden at Tredegar House

Treasure all that Mother Nature has to offer this season, with our ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ activities. Make the most of the wet weather by going welly wandering, or hunt the hedgerows to find some funky fungi. Activity sheets can be collected from visitor reception or downloaded here.

A view of the north-west front of Tredegar House, Newport, from outside its decorative black-and-gold-painted wrought-iron gates.

Discover more at Tredegar House

Find out when Tredegar House is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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