The Wollaton Walled Garden Project

Wall
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The Wollaton Walled Garden Project is a community-led effort, coordinated by Friends of Wollaton Park, to restore the 4-acre walled garden at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, England.

The project aims to conserve the garden’s heritage, offer a place for historic and traditional horticulture, and provide opportunities for learning and education.

Tours on Thursday mornings throughout most of the year.

To book a tour click the link: https://wollatonhall.org.uk/walled-garden-tours

History of the Wollaton Walled Garden Project

The ‘new’ walled garden was built, along with the head gardener’s cottage, large conservatory and farm buildings, in the second half of the 18 century. It replaced the old kitchen garden that was possibly near the present-day formal gardens area. Built in a classic rhomboid shape, the inner 12ft wall encloses about 4 acres.

The East, South and Central walls were designed to be heated (you can still see the fire-holes used to provide heat). There are additional garden areas (called slip gardens) surrounding the main walled area. These may have contained orchards. After the repeal of the glass tax in 1845, more glasshouses were built in the area currently occupied by modern council buildings. This was probably the walled garden complex at its best.

Nottingham City Council took over Wollaton Park and Gardens in the 1920s.

Over time all of the glasshouses have been demolished, except the base of one of the small greenhouses, possibly used for growing cucumbers or melons. The Council stopped using the gardens in the early 1990s and the gardens were left to nature.

Early Work on the Wollaton Walled Garden Project

In late 2018, a group of volunteers, coordinated by Friends of Wollaton Park, started helping to restore, renovate and reuse the walled garden area. The Wollaton Walled Garden Project started! We initially recovered and cleaned the original Georgian bricks in order to reconstruct the severely damaged east wall and gate.

In the subsequent years (covid restrictions permitting), we have been developing the gardens for growing fruit, vegetables and flowers.

We have also taken on restoring the Head gardener’s garden.

We found the entrance foundations of the larger conservatory that once existed next to the head gardener’s cottage.

We gradually returned to the walled garden and recommenced sowing, planting and other developments.

old colourised photo of conservatory with dog
conservatory foundations
Main door foundations of the large ‘conservatory’

Summer 2020

Potatoes
Walled Garden’s first produce in a long time!

Spring 2021

Poly ‘half-tunnel’ completed.

The remaining ‘cucumber frame’ was cleared and the brickwork was repaired.

 We have started a trial of cultivation methods in the walled garden. The left 3 beds are no-dig (just keep adding compost!). The middle 3 beds are ‘deep beds’ (light digging). The right-hand 3 beds are ‘classic’ (ie winter digging and regular soil turning).

panorama of walled garden trial veg beds

We are also developing wildflower areas around the edge of the garden and starting a ‘hay meadow’ cutting regime. 

Questions or Queries?

If that does not help then please get in touch with us…