Nantwich Walled Garden, Cheshire, England
Record Id: 9558
The garden was part of the site of Townsend House which was situated to its west. The house and walls were built in the late-16th century by the Wilbraham family. When built, unlike today, the site of the house and garden probably wasn't surrounded by other buildings. King James I is understood to have been a guest at the house in 1617 while in Nantwich to visit the local brine works.
Once the Wilbraham family moved out, the house gradually fell into disrepair (eventually being demolished), and the site had many uses.
The Nantwich Walled Garden has history embedded in its walls, an example being the three bee boles which are located within the south wall. Bee boles (a Scots word for a recess in a wall), were used to house and protect bee skeps (a predecessor to bee hives, made of straw and requiring protection from the weather).
An archaeological survey undertaken in 2008 revealed other interesting historical features concerning the construction of the wall and garden, as well as artefacts recovered through excavations. The original bill of materials for the garden is available at the Cheshire Archives, Chester.
Until the early-2000s the garden was privately owned and was used as an orchard immediately prior to the site's purchase by a property developer. For approximately the last 15 years, the walled garden has been owned by a series of property developers, but at the time of writing (April 2016) no building has started.
Detailed history contributed by Natwich Walled Garden Society 11/04/2016
Feature created: 1575 to 1610