Original 1882 plans being reinstated to kitchen garden at Knightshayes Court

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 23:15

Work has started to reinstate the original 1882 design of the Walled Kitchen Garden at National Trust Knightshayes.  

The 2.5 acre Walled Kitchen Garden once grew produce that fed the owners of Knightshayes, the Heathcoat-Amory family, as well as their household. Now the garden team are bringing the productive garden back to its former glory using the original designs and a variety of plant and vegetable varieties. 

Kitchen gardens were an essential part of Victorian country estates. Considered by many to be a high art, the vegetable and fruit growing techniques showcased the latest in Victorian growing techniques, including glasshouses and companion planting.  

The walls and buildings in the Walled Kitchen Garden at Knightshayes were designed by William Burges, who took the same inspiration from the Victorian Gothic Revival that he used to design Knightshayes Court to create a dramatic enclosure of the kitchen garden complete with fairytale-like castle turrets. 

‘The Walled Kitchen Garden is such an important part of Knightshayes’ history, feeding the family and local community, so it’s wonderful to be taking the garden back to its roots’, says Head Gardener Will Woodman.  

‘We’re planting a mixture of heritage vegetables and modern varieties to honour the history of the garden while also bringing it into the present day,’ he continues ‘Visitors can come back again and again throughout the year to see how the planting is coming along and see the design develop. It’s really exciting to be able to share it.’   

As the design of the garden develops, visitors will be able to see rows of peas, beans, cabbages, courgettes, and heritage tomatoes amongst the array of varieties being planted. Produce from the Walled Kitchen Garden will be used by the kitchen team to create the menu in the Stables Café, bringing fresh produce to visitors and reducing food miles.  

The Walled Kitchen Garden is open daily, 10am – 5pm.