Summary

This site is NOT open to public.

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Brief description of site

The garden is surrounded on three sides by the original walls (listed Grade II), which have survived virtually intact for over 400 years. However, some damage has occurred in recent years through natural weathering and probably vandalism. The interior of the garden is now overgrown.

Brief history of site

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. Until the early-2000s the garden was privately owned and by the end of the 20th century was used as an orchard. 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.

Location information:

Address: Welsh Row, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5UT

Locality: Cheshire

Local Authorities:

Cheshire East; Nantwich

Historical County: Cheshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 118 Grid Ref: SJ646524
Latitude: 53.0677 Longitude: -2.52975

Key information:

Form of site: walled garden

Plant type/environment: walled garden

Site first created: 1575 to 1610

Main period of development: 16th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Site Size (Hectares): 0.2

Description

The garden consists of about half an acre of land surrounded by a 16th-century wall, which was listed Grade II for a number of years by the Department of the Environment and then English Heritage. Since 2013 it has been included within the Nantwich Conservation Area. In 2015, English Heritage (now Historic England) confirmed the Grade II listing and amended and amplified the designation due to the garden's historical and architectural interest, early date of construction and the materials used. See the external web site links at the bottom of the 'Description' tab for the full Historic England listing.

The garden is surrounded on three sides by the original walls, which have survived virtually intact for over 400 years. However, some damage has occurred in recent years through natural weathering and probably vandalism. The interior of the garden is now overgrown.

The site is privately owned by a property developer. There have been several planning applications for development of the site, the most recent of which was approved verbally in 2009 subject to development of a satisfactory 106 planning agreement (still to be finalised).

The walled garden is unusual in that it is close to a town centre, and therefore has potential for an easily accessible visitor attraction, educational asset and community project.

Detailed description contributed by Natwich Walled Garden Society 11/04/2016  

External web site link: http://nantwichwalledgarden.org.uk/

External web site link: https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1115809

History

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

Features

bee bole

garden wall

Feature created: 1575 to 1610

References

Organisations associated with this site

Cheshire Gardens Trust

Nantwich Walled Garden Society Role: Special Interest Group

Sources of information

Contributor or Recorder Peter Harrington

Images

  • Nantwich Walled Garden, bee boles

    Nantwich Walled Garden, bee boles

  • Nantwich Walled Garden, overgrown in the early-21st century

    Nantwich Walled Garden, overgrown in the early-21st century

  • Nantwich Walled Garden, the wall

    Nantwich Walled Garden, the wall