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Restoring the Union Jack Garden project

Aerial view of the Victorian Flower Garden and Union Jack Garden at Wentworth Castle Gardens
Victorian Flower and Union Jack Gardens | © Steve Williams/David White

Starting in September 2021, we are inviting local communities to actively contribute to the restoration and development of the Union Jack Garden. The identity and values of each group will be represented in the garden, creating a contemporary version of Thomas Wentworth’s wilderness space with all its variety and interest.

The history of the Union Jack Garden

This 18th century garden was first planted in 1713. Geometric gardens were very popular at the time. As a ‘formal wilderness’ garden, the Union Jack Garden provided an interesting and secluded place for visitors to walk, chat with friends and find inspiration in nature.

Thomas Wentworth not only showcased his wealth and status in the design of the Union Jack Garden, but also his political allegiance. The layout combines the crosses of St George and St Andrew, celebrating the Union of Scotland and England in 1707.

Reviving the Union Jack Garden

At Wentworth Castle Gardens, we’re now bringing this story up to date by asking local groups to work with us to design and create garden segments in the original Union Jack Garden.

Local communities will not only be involved in designing and re-planting the garden but will be invited to continue to work with us to maintain and enjoy the spaces they have created.

'Wildernesses, if rightly situated, artfully contrived, and judiciously planted, are the greatest ornaments to a fine Garden.'

- Philip Miller, The Gardeners’ and Florists Dictionary, 1734

Local community group, Barnsley Feels Like Home, work on a segment in the Union Jack Garden
Local community group, Barnsley Feels Like Home, work on a segment in the Union Jack Garden | © Joanna Sutcliffe

Latest updates

April 2023

Barnsley Academy join in

Students from Barnsley Academy are the first group to create a garden segment in the North Union Jack Gardens. They start clearing their designated triangle with enthusiasm! 

Two people and a dog are silhouetted standing next to the rotunda. The rotunda is a round brick building supported by six pillars surrounding it and has steps leading up to it.

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