Mount grace priory to benefit from expert garden redesigns

The award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw will take the role of Creative Lead for a major enhancement project.

Mount Grace Priory in north Yorkshire will benefit from a significant investment in its gardens by spring 2018, thanks to a grant awarded by The Wolfson Foundation.

Improvements and redesigns will be carried out by English Heritage under the creative direction of award-winning garden designer, broadcaster and author, Chris Beardshaw.

The design of the new gardens will make use of the existing landscape architecture at the front of the 17th-century mansion.

Fresh new plants will be introduced in combination with the re-use of existing successful varieties, segmenting the diverse gardens into room-like sections.

Additional work will improve the woodland area, and new interpretation panels, trails, tours and activities will be introduced to bring the stories of the site to life.

Ease of access will also be maximised as part of the work, providing improved access from the car park.

Award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw, and Mount Grace which is to benefit from the expert's creative direction.


Speaking about the project, Chris Beardshaw described the 'reawakening' of the gardens as 'a huge, exciting and complex task' that will offer 'rewards for visitors on their own modern day pilgrimage to this extraordinarily rich historic location.'

Senior Gardens Advisor at English Heritage, Michael Klemperer, said of the investment:

'The work at Mount Grace Priory will transform the gardens, ensuring the site is commensurate with our key garden sites in England. Chris has some superb ideas, especially celebrating the Arts and Crafts movement within the house and linking this to the garden, combined with a respect for the environment. With the appointment of James too, we are confident that the gardens will be award winning in their own right - which is no more than this superb site deserves.'

Site Manager at Mount Grace, Barbara Owen, is delighted with the news:

'Mount Grace Priory is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain, and the garden offer needs to befit the glorious House and Priory. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming existing and new visitors to enjoy all that we offer.'

Get Involved

The majority of the work will take place through autumn and winter, but visitors will be able to see changes to the garden beginning this summer.

This early work will include the removal of silt to restore the different layers of water features that are part of the priory's monastic origins.

Check the Mount Grace Priory webpage before visiting, as the site will be closed for the day when major work needs doing.

English Heritage is also seeking garden volunteers to help with the project. Those who take part will work alongside the gardening team and play a part in creating a new gardening legacy at Mount Grace Priory.

If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch.

Mount Grace Priory is open seven days a week through August, September and October. Plan your visit to see the transformation in action.

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