About Thornbridge Hall Gardens
Thornbridge Hall is a large manor house in the Peak District that was once the ancestral home of the Longsdon family, and later housed a line of wealthy businessmen with savvy design ideas. Its 12-acre grounds provide guests with the quintessential English garden experience, with a hint of eccentricity.
Thornbridge Hall Gardens history
Thornbridge Hall was the seat of the Longsdons from the 12th to the late 18th century, before in 1790 being purchased by up-and-coming businessman John Morewood. The Morewood family, whose profits in the Industrial Revolution made them very wealthy, enlarged the house substantially, before it was rebuilt in 1859 by Frederick Craven in the Jacobean style.
In 1896, Sheffield entrepreneur George Marples extended the house, built lodges and cottages, landscaped the park and gardens, acquired Chatsworth House’s Watson buffet fountain, and even added his own private railway!
The 12 acres of extensively decorated gardens were designed during Marples’ life, fulfilling his vision of seeing ‘1000 shades of green’ each morning from his bedroom window.
In 1929, it was again passed on to Charles Boot, a Sheffield entrepreneur who brought with him a vast array of statues, fountains, and facades from Clumber Park after its manor house was demolished.
Thornbridge Hall today
Today the Hall is owned by Jim and Emma Harrison, owners of Thornbridge Brewery and A4e respectively. It is a private family home and event venue, however the extensive gardens are open to the public every Wednesday and Thursday from April to September.
A number of intriguing spots can be explored throughout these gardens, including the Scented Terrace, Water Garden, Koi Pond, Italian Garden, Kitchen Garden and Orangery. The hall itself is a Grade II listed building and a beautiful example of 19th century architecture, providing a stunning backdrop to explorations of its gardens. Numerous statues, urns, grottos and three temples also adorn its pathways, all added in the 1890s.
For visitors in need of refreshment, a cafe serves a host of food and drinks, while the accompanying plant nursery allows guests to take home their own potted souvenir!
Getting to Thornbridge Hall Gardens
Thornbridge Hall Gardens is located in Ashford on the Water in Derbyshire. The entrance may be found off the A6020 road, and there is a free carpark at the site. Bus services 218 and 275 drop off a 30-40 minute walk from Thornbridge Hall, with the nearest major train stations Sheffield and Chesterfield about a 20-minute drive away.
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