Burton Agnes Hall

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Burton Agnes Hall is the quintessential Elizabethan Manor House set in beautiful grounds. It is one of the highlights of the East Riding and quite easy to spend a whole day enjoying the house and gardens.

From parking the car outside the gatehouse, the gardens are a visual delight. An avenue of carefully trimmed yews lead up to the house, with more on the immaculately kept lawns to the side of the house. This also has a classical style pond with statues. At the edge of the lawn is a most unusual gravel garden.

Most visitors head for the Walled Garden with its network of paths and secret gardens. At the top is the vegetable garden with small plots divided up by stone slab paths. Runner beans grow up archways of bamboo twigs over the paths. A wide range of vegetables and herbs are grown, mixed in with flowers. There is a strong smell of sage from the herb beds. The gardens are carefully tended and there were two gardeners were at work the day we visited, as well as the chicken wire gardener.

Beyond the greenhouses which grow all the plants for the estate as well as those for sale in the courtyard, is what is described as the ‘coloured garden’. At the centre is a giant chess board inside a trellis work walk covered with vines and clematis. Off this is a series of small secret gardens with seats and more giant games to play including draughts and snakes and ladders.

The gardens contain the National Collection of Campanulas. There is a jungle garden with ten foot bamboo groves, a small fountain and even a maze.

The best time to visit the walled garden is from May to July when the flowers are at their best. By the end of August, these have been left to set seed which is harvested and dried, either to grow plants for the garden next year or to sell in the shop.

Beyond the house and the lawns is the Woodland walk through mixed woodland with beech and ash. In February the ground is covered with snowdrops.

A network of paths wander through the woods past wooden sculptures including an owl, squirrel, giant spider and caterpillars. The wind chimes however are anything but melodious, sounding like some very rusty farm machinery at work.

This year there has been an Artist in Residence over the summer and an exhibition of work in the summer house.

These are delightful gardens and are a popular day out with all ages. There is plenty to keep the kids occupied and paths are well maintained and suitable for wheelchairs. There is ramped access to the walled garden. Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome in the grounds.

Plants are for sale in the courtyard. There are two shops and a tea room.

The Elizabethan Manor House is as good inside as it looks from the outside and there is also the old Norman Manor House still standing behind it. Tucked away in a corner is the old donkey wheel which was used to raise water from the well.

Visit website

There are a lot more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/stately_homes_castles/england/north/burton_agnes/index.html

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