The Grove at Brodsworth Hall

At the back of the summer house you can take your choice of meandering paths on differing levels through a woodland called The Grove.

The fern dell at Brodsworth Hall in summer

The Fern Dell in summer


This area dates from the 18th century, part of a series of winding walks through an ornamental landscape created from an old quarry. In one area there is a Grotto, or Fern Dell as it was known, linked by interconnecting paths.

These run on different levels bound by a post and chain fence swagged in ivy where cascades of plants tumble down into a miniature canyon. The bottom level of the garden is spread with bright white gravel over which there are stepping stones as if you are wading over a river.

Ferns were highly popular in the Victorian era and this fascinating garden makes full use of the height and the shade created by the quarry walls. Even at the height of Brodworth's neglect, many plants such as the strappy hart's tongue fern thrived in the damp crevices.

In 2000 the Grotto was identified as an ideal place to re-home an important fern collection owned by Wing Commander Eric Baker and you can now see over 100 different types of fern here.

Target House at Brodsworth Hall

The Target House

The Target Range

Through a tunnel beneath a path in the Grotto you come to the Target Range which was once used for archery, a highly fashionable sport in the 19th century especially for young ladies.

The long grassed lawn ends in the Target House which was used for storing equipment but now houses an exhibition about the garden. It is thought to date from the 18th century but was turned by Thellusson into something resembling a Swiss chalet where the family would take tea.

See more things to see and do at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens. Plan your visit today.

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