Since the creation of the Yorkshire Gardens Trust in 1996 more than 300 events have been organised for our members and guests. Here are some recent highlights...

For reports of earlier events please follow this link to earlier Newsletters


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Day visit

The Lost Nurseries of Central York

The Dissolution of the Monasteries left several sites within or close to the York city walls that were productive gardens or had the space to be so. Several of these subsequently became significant plant nurseries. The walk will begin with the lost site on Fishergate that became the Riggs nursery, and proceed to the site close to Clifford’s Tower that became Matthew Wharton’s nursery, and then to Tanner Row where the Telfords and later the Backhouses established their important nursery businesses. The walk will finish close to the centre of York at the Yorkshire Museum gardens, another location where monastic land became an important horticultural site.
None of the nurseries survived beyond the mid-19th century, so map evidence and illustrations will be provided to help us imagine them. During the walk we will examine the importance not just of the nurseries but also of York more generally as a centre of horticultural innovation from the mid-17th century onwards.

Tickets cost: £10.00, £12.00 non-members includes handouts. Places are limited to 12 - first bookings will be for members only - interested non-members can be placed on a waiting list (see below - booking details)
Organiser: Gillian Parker

Day visit

AGM at Askham Bryan College

Yorkshire Gardens Trust held its 2024 AGM at Askham Bryan College. After the AGM business we heard from Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener at Harewood who  spoke on "Harewood’s Gardens & Grounds – ‘Reimagined’ Content" and following lunch we toured the college facilities with staff members

Lecture / Talk

‘Bright Prospects’- Curating & Conservation at Wentworth Castle Gardens and Beningbrough Hall

The third in a series of Zoom lectures in conjunction with The Gardens Trust

Both created at the same time in the early 18th century by some of the same craftsmen, these two Yorkshire sites have seen centuries of change and challenge before coming into the care of the National Trust.
Wentworth Castle Gardens near Barnsley was conceived as a grand expression of aristocratic pride and taste. The remains of this vision sit at the core of the site, overlaid with important 19th and 20th century influences. The contemporary Beningbrough Hall near York was the creation of a wealthy young gentry couple hoping to consolidate and enhance their family status. The remarkable preservation of their house stands in contrast to the much-altered garden and parkland.
Most recently, both sites have shifted from being private spaces to thriving public assets. Hear how has this developed and how the contemporary National Trust is working at these places to further enhance their social benefit alongside ensuring the care and conservation of nationally significant heritage assets?


Lecture / Talk

A Rock Garden Recreated - The Restoration of the Backhouse Rock Garden at Burnby Hall Garden, Pocklington,

The second in a series of Zoom lectures in conjunction with The Gardens Trust

The period 2016 to 2019 saw the complete restoration of the substantial early 20th century Rock Garden at Burnby Hall Gardens. Originally created for the owners of Burnby Hall, Major Percy and Mrs Katharine Stewart, by James Backhouse and Son of York, a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund grant supported the transformation of this unique location. This illustrated lecture featured a brief history of the Stewarts and details the extensive work that has been undertaken to restore the Rock Garden, including obtaining the funding, the challenges that were overcome, and its ongoing maintenance.

Lecture / Talk

Bramham Park – Restoring & Preserving the Legacy

The first in a series of Zoom lectures in conjunction with The Gardens Trust

Bramham Park was created by Robert Benson, Lord Bingley at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, as a residence and landscape to demonstrate the status he had risen to as Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Director of the South Sea Company. In the three following centuries a combination of irresponsible illegitimate children, gambling debts, a disastrous fire, two world wars, inheritance taxes and a hurricane-force gale meant that Benson’s design has never been substantially changed. This makes Bramham a rare survival of the period between baroque formality and the Landscape Movement, showing the development from one to the other.
Since the gale in 1962, Benson’s descendants have sought to restore Bramham to its original condition and the current owner, Nick Lane Fox recounted his efforts, since taking over from his father in 1997.


Day visit

Snowdrops at Devonshire Mill

Our first event of 2024 was a morning visit to Devonshire Mill, Pocklington to enjoy snowdrops in the 2 acre garden of Chris and Sue Bond - followed by tea and coffee and scones. 

Day visit

Ledston Hall Gardens

YGT members enjoyed an introductory talk covering the history of the site and a guided tour of the gardens and pleasure grounds.

Day visit

Brodsworth Hall Gardens

Our visit included an in-depth summary of the history of the site followed by an extensive garden tour. Despite heavy rain features of interest including the newly-restored Target Garden, the Alpine Bed, The Grotto/Quarry Garden, a Summerhouse and eyecatcher were viewed.




Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

YGT exhibited at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, which provided an ideal opportunity to meet existing members and talk to a number of prospective new members.

Day visit

Jervaulx Hall Gardens, Summer Picnic

Our Summer Picnic was held at Jervaulx Hall, near East Witton in North Yorkshire with kind permission of Mr and Mrs Phillip Woodrow.

The eight-acre garden is full of interest with colourful borders, a glasshouse, a small vegetable garden, the renovated abbey mill, magnificent mature trees as well as wooded hills with views to the north and the river Ure. To the south the garden adjoins the privately owned ruins of Jervaulx Abbey, which will be open for us from the garden.