Explore the garden at Goddards
Discover what you’ll see in the five acres of grounds when you visit the garden at Goddards. Once home to the Terry family, this private haven on the outskirts of York city centre features several garden rooms filled with scented borders, mature trees, ponds and wilder areas.
A garden of surprises
From the second you walk under the gatehouse, and leave the busy suburbs of York behind, you feel like you've entered into a secret garden, hidden in plain sight. The garden is divided up into 'garden rooms' as was the Arts and Crafts garden style. What you see today, is the same design created by George Dillistone in the late 1920s.
The garden rooms
As you wander around the five-acre garden, uncover the unique atmosphere in each space. The ‘rooms’ performs a separate function, with hedges and shrubs providing the structure.
Today a superb example of a Richardsons of Darlington greenhouse, added in the 1930s and restored around 15 years ago thanks to National Trust supporters. Step inside to see the delicious and exotic varieties of plants taking seed. You might find a gardener pausing for a brew or propagating and growing on their annuals plants and produce – they’ll be happy to have a chat about the plants and share the secrets of their green fingers. Four water butts are used to collect rainfall, reducing the reliance on mains water.
Statuary returning home
New to see, but very much an original part of the garden is a series of statuary, including a pair of griffins, a pair of pelicans and a set of urns. They were originally acquired by Noel and Kathleen Terry and family and placed in their garden at Goddards; probably in the 1930s.
The statues were removed from the garden on the sale of the house to the National Trust in 1984 and relocated to the gardens of other family members. In time, kindly donated by the Terry family to their original home after nearly 40 years. After a programme of conservation, they are slowly getting returned to the garden. Thanks to archive imagery and this sketch from Betty Terry as a child, the team are able to place the pieces with relative confidence.
Look out for wildlife
Despite its relatively urban location, Goddards is a haven for wildlife. Set back from the busy streets, this pocket of green space has many different habitats to support nature throughout the year. With the neighbouring Knavesmire and to some extent York racecourse, there are plenty of places for wildlife to thrive.
Why is the house closed?
Goddards was bought by the charity from the Terry family to use as the Yorkshire regional office. Although selected rooms in the house were open for a short time, since the pandemic the indoor spaces have remained closed, except for use as a National Trust office. The gardens are open on selected days for visitors to explore.
Pick a takeaway drink for your garden walk or a light bite to enjoy on the terrace...some chocolate orange inspired of course. Discover the second-hand book shelves in the sun room, and how to donate.
Uncover the story of the Arts and Crafts-style home at Goddards and its owners the Terry family, and chart the history of the family’s famous chocolate company, Terry’s of York.
Find out where to park near Goddards, accessible parking on site and your options for public transport or arriving by bike.
Bring your dog to Goddards for a great day out in one of York's finest gardens. Read some tips to help you get the most out of your visit. Goddards is a two pawprint rated place.
The Arts and Crafts movement also influenced garden design, often using the idea of garden 'rooms' to bring the home outdoors. Discover the Arts and Crafts gardens in our care.
Discover our gardeners’ top tips so you can make the most of your garden, plot or window box.
Looking to catch a glimpse of a red squirrel or a rare butterfly? Follow our top tips for getting up close (but not too close) with wildlife.