Historic Gardens

Leeds Castle, Maidstone

Picture of Leeds Castle The beautiful 13th century, moated castle is surrounded by 345 acres of parkland and woodland. The park is of medieval origin and was landscaped in the 18th century and significantly replanted in the early 19th century. The castle was restored in the 1920s and 1930s and a series of gardens including a working fruit and vegetable garden created around it. In 1980, the landscape architect Russell Page (1906-85) designed the Culpeper Garden, which is laid out in a pattern of geometric, box-edged beds abundantly planted with a mixture of English cottage garden and exotic plants.


Marle Place, Brenchley

Picture of Marle Place Marle Place house is set within 10 acres of privately-owned, peaceful gardens, first created in 1890 and surrounded by woodland and orchards. Over the last 100 years, the gardens have evolved to include a series of enclosed terraced gardens, tree-lined avenues, rills and ornamental ponds. In spring, there is an abundance of blossom and bulbs which are later replaced in summer by scented, old-fashioned roses and exuberant borders. In autumn the trees provide a dazzling display of colour. Historical features of the garden also include a Victorian gazebo, an Edwardian rockery and an Italianate walled garden. The Victorian greenhouse has now been restored and houses a splendid orchid collection.


Mere House, Mereworth

Picture of Mere House Mere House was originally a late-18th century informal park and lake associated with the rectory created in 1780. The 6-acre garden has been renewed since 1958. The main features are specimen trees, shrubs and extensive spring bulbs. There are various park and lake walks. Many trees were blown down in the storm on 16 October 1987, and in January 1990.The lake was created in 1780 by canalising a stream feeding the Mereworth Castle lakes and bunds have been built to its south and west to mitigate increasing road noise and development. Most of the larger trees were planted before 1850. Most of the beds, ornamental trees and shrubs date from 1958, with an emphasis on foliage contrast. The weeping ash by the croquet lawn and the extensive Viburnum tomentosum plicatum beyond it were planted 30 years ago, and the garden contains several varieties of ornamental elder. There is an extensive display of snowdrops in early spring followed by a magnificent carpet of daffodils. In the autumn a wide spread of colour is provided by liquidambar, nyssa sylvatica, parrotia and contrasting conifers and evergreen shrubs. The garden is open for group visits (ten or more people) by appointment at any time of the year, as well as under the National Gardens Scheme on selected days.