Cresswell Hall’s ‘lost’ walled garden restored

Joanna Lonsdale ,BBC News, North East and Cumbria

Cresswell Hall’s ‘lost’ walled garden restoredBarry Mead The restored garden with a pond in the foreground then a pagoda footpaths and lots of flowers Barry Mead

The garden is believed to date back more than 250 years

A “lost” walled garden which has been a wilderness for generations has been restored by more than 50 volunteers.

Built to provide fruit, vegetables and flowers for Cresswell Hall in Northumberland, it once stretched over many acres and dates back at least 250 years.

The central area has seen new lawns and footpaths laid, with a herb garden, fruit trees, mulberries and greengages planted.

Steve Lowe, the volunteer co-ordinator for the project, said they were keen everyone in the area had a say in the project.

“Some of the older people in the village remembered playing there as children,” he said.

“They wanted a pond, orchards and bee hives, so that was really important for us to include.”

Cresswell Hall’s ‘lost’ walled garden restoredBarry Mead A group of people working in a walled gardenBarry Mead

Over 50 volunteers put in many thousands of hours to restore the garden

Barry Mead, who lives in Cresswell and is part of the project team, described it as a “voyage of discovery”.

“Finding the original footpaths and layout of the garden and taking it back to how it would have been was such a labour of love,” he said.

“I’m just so proud of what we’ve achieved here, it’s our legacy to future generations.”

Cresswell Hall’s ‘lost’ walled garden restoredBarry Mead A walled garden full of pink campion several feet tallBarry Mead

The garden had not been maintained for several decades

The work has been carried out by the Cresswell Pele Tower Charitable Incorporated Organisation, which was set up initially to save the adjoining Grade II listed 14th century Pele Tower.

The restoration was supported by the National Lottery and other funders including Parkdean Resorts, which owns the land, at a cost of approximately £250,000.

Cresswell Hall’s ‘lost’ walled garden restoredAnne Johnson A black and white picture from 1946 of the walled garden with lots of potatoes and fruit trees Anne Johnson

This photograph from 1946 shows the garden after it had been used in the wartime “dig for victory” campaign

The gardens will be formally opened at an invitation event on Sunday 2 June and open to visitors after 14:30 BST.

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