William Turner Garden

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Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2015

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The town of Morpeth is a winner of Britain in Bloom, it certainly knows how best to use green areas. Within the town there are several interesting garden/parkland, some tiny some large, my favourite garden is a small garden tucked away within the beautiful Carlisle Park. It is called the William Turner Garden. I like it because it is an oasis of tranquillity as well as a very interesting garden.

This small, Elizabethan garden was created to commemorate the life and work of Dr William Turner, who was born in Morpeth around 1508 and educated at The Chantry School, Morpeth. William Turner became a physician and natural historian and was known as the father of botany – he was the first person to comprehensively list and describe British Flora in his two volumes “Herbals”.

It had been a wet day during our visit to Morpeth, but when there was a break in the rain and the sun came out we used the opportunity to visit the garden. Walking past The Chantry, where Turner was educated and which now houses the tourist information centre, gift shop and Bagpipe Museum, we walked the bridge over the River Wansbeck and soon entered the gates of Carlisle Park. Almost immediately we saw the signpost for The William Turner Garden, where we sat a while and enjoyed the tranquillity – all we could hear were birds singing! The garden we found to be bursting with herbs and flora, for a small garden it has an abundance and variety of plant life. There are lots of low box hedges in knot patterns, everything perfectly merges together to provide a rather special place.

The William Turner Garden is open 10am – 6pm daily during the Summer, during the Winter 10am – 3.30 pm. It is free to enter, for those who have reduced mobility there is seating, wheelchairs are able to enter this garden.

Carlisle Park in which the William Turner Garden is sited, is a truly beautiful large park, full of formal gardens, woodland and wildlife. It runs alongside the River Wansbeck providing lovely riverside walls and very easy access to the town centre via bridges As well as formal gardens, there are tennis courts, children’s play areas, paddling pools, sand pits, woodland walks, picnic areas. Ha Hill, within the park and close to the William Turner Garden involves a steep climb, but there is a level area at the top where you can enjoy magnificent views of the town. Carlisle Park is free to enter and well worth a visit for an afternoon or a day!

The town of Morpeth is a bustling market town in the centre of Northumberland close to the many attractions the Northumberland coast and countryside has to offer.

Pamela Walker

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