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autumn arrives in Helmsley

October 16, 2012 Attractions, Gotalottie 1 Comment
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A couple of weeks ago, on a recommendation, we took a trip down to Helmsley Walled Gardens. The seemingly sleepy town of Helmsley is set at the southern end of the North Yorkshire moors, a tranquil town built around a market square and a tourist magnet – for obvious reasons.

The town boasts its own 900 yr old castle and is close to Rievaulx Abbey

The town has been recommended many times as a place to visit for another attraction, that of its own Walled Gardens.

Dating back to the mid 16th century, it was a major employer and provider of fruit and vegetables until the mid 1980′s – where it fell into dereliction.

The fabric of the gardens remain unchanged and has been lovingly restored from the vision of Alice Ticehurst. Sadly, Alice passed away before the restoration could be completed.

The gardens, nestled snugly below the castle are surrounded on all 4 sides by 6-7m brick walls which soak up the sun on warm days and equally protect the visitor from prevailing south-westerly winds as was the weather on the day that we visited.

dominated and protected

dominated and protected

Neat gravel paths cut across the gardens at several points and create divisions for a series of themes: grassy orchard, deep floral beds and kitchen gardens. The striking greenhouse, originally built around 1850 has been lovingly restored and sits centre stage keeping a watchful eye.

the restored greenhouse

the restored greenhouse

There are a series of enormous cold frames, some of which were still filled with marrows and cucurbits.

one can only imagine what lays in here in the spring

one can only imagine what lays in here in the spring

There were many raised beds in the kitchen garden areas, each seem to have been adopted by volunteers and were all well stocked.

Probably the climax to our visit was the vast array of fruit trees growing on the site, particularly apple. Most of the trees were dwarf stock and espaliered, it was amazing to see such an abundance of fruit on trees that were often no higher, than a low hedge.

lunes prince albert

lunes prince albert

unknown - but loaded

unknown – but loaded

The cost of entry was very modest at £5.50 each, we were asked to contribute to gift aid and were very pleasantly surprised to receive in return – a voucher allowing us a return visit, free of charge to be used in the next 12 months.

The car park allows good access to the castle and its grounds; we will most certainly be visiting again in the spring – if only to see what is lurking inside those wonderful cold frames.

No page on this blog would be complete without some photos of veg – so here they are:

smart lines of cabbages

smart lines of cabbages

leeks - happier than ours

leeks – happier than ours

pumpkins - 'mike belton'

pumpkins – ‘mike belton’

 

 

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. pollinatr says:

    We love Helmsley and the walled gardens, never get bored of going there! :-)

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