These attractive gardens above a steeply wooded dene at the mouth of Wensleydale are reached down a long drive from the A684.
Cars are parked in front of the house with views across the ha-ha to parkland with mature trees and cows and sheep grazing. It is a delightful spot, well away from traffic noise.
The house is not open. It is a splendid classical building and has been the home of the Wyatt family for over 450 years. The seventh baronet decided to extend and improve his Elizabethan house and left instructions with the architect John Carr. He left for Scotland having been assured the work would be complete before the winter. When he returned five months later he found the house had been demolished, apart from the lowest part of the walls. It seems that Carr’s workmen had misunderstood their instructions and demolished the house… A new house had to be built and the seventh baronet got this handsome mid Georgian house, set in a landscaped park.
There is a signed walk around the gardens with an information sheet available from the honesty box by the fountain.
It begins with the more formal flower beds at the rear of the house. The sundial garden has scented old fashioned roses , shrubs and flowering plants. Multicoloured violas are growing in stone tubs. Below is the terrace garden with shrubs and more flowering perennials.
The rest of the gardens are informal with mature specimen trees, shrubs and grass. The cedars of Lebanon are probably 250 years old. Beyond hem is the Acer garden, colourful with different species of Acer.
Beyond the house is the stable block. In front of it is the daffodil field. In mid June this was knee high with waving grasses with a mown path through it.
The lime tree walk is 350 years old. At the far end is the pet’s cemetery.
Beyond are what are described as the Reflection pools. These were used to supply ice to the ice house. Now they are overgrown with marshland plants and water lilies.
The walk takes about 30 minutes plus stops. The gardens get few visitors and there is no tea room. There are toilets (including disabled) for visitor use behind the house. The walk is wheelchair friendly.
The gardens are open end of March until end of September and there are discounts for seniors. These are lovely gardens and well worth visiting if in the area.