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  • Belsay Hall was constructed in the early 1800s by a man called Sir Charles Monck.

  • He was a very well educated, very well read man, extremely well travelled

  • and he gained inspiration from lots of different fields

  • to create the lovely gardens that we see today.

  • We're a Grade 1 listed garden.

  • Part of my role as Head Gardener is really to maintain the original vision Sir Charles Monck had.

  • I manage a team of eight gardeners, plus volunteers.

  • We're fortunate enough to have very accurate historic records

  • and then on the back of that we've produced a very detailed

  • conservation management plan which we follow very, very carefully.

  • My favourite section is the East Quarry.

  • There's nowhere else like it in the UK.

  • It's got a huge amount of character to it.

  • It's got a fabulous historic plant collection.

  • The stone which you see in the hall was quarried directly from the East Quarry.

  • This archway here was inspired by Charles Monck's visits

  • to the quarries of Syracuse in Sicily, a very, very special place.

  • There's a fabulous specimen of a Douglas fir, it was planted in 1832 so it's actually one

  • of the oldest and largest in the UK. It's a really special treat at Belsay.

  • The gardens vary so much through the year.

  • During the springtime we have lots of blooms,

  • and then through the summer we've got a spectacular collection of historic

  • rhododendrons built up over quite a number of generations.

  • The summer months are peak growing season so really

  • we're trying to keep up with all the weeds

  • and the lawns and the general maintenance of the garden.

  • During the autumn, fabulous colours from the trees,

  • it's just as interesting in the winter as is in the summer.

  • We're actually busy right the way through the year.

  • I think lots of people think that in the wintertime gardeners aren't quite as busy

  • but we're just as busy in the winter as we are the summer months.

  • It's just a very different type of work.

  • We do a huge amount of pruning, mulching of beds, really tidying the garden up

  • making sure it's spic and span for our visitors.

  • We do a lot of project work.

  • It's just our opportunity to get our teeth stuck into the really big meaty jobs.

  • Although there is a certain degree of flexibility involved we have to

  • manage it quite rigidly to that original image which Sir Charles Monck had

  • and although the role of Head Gardener is an important one,

  • I have to remember that I'm merely the caretaker.

  • It's not my garden.

Belsay Hall was constructed in the early 1800s by a man called Sir Charles Monck.

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B1 charles garden fabulous historic gardener quarry

Behind the Scenes in the Gardens at Belsay Hall and Castle

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    Summer posted on 2020/04/23
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