Thanks to National Lottery players and a grant of £3.4 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund we are delighted to be launching a major project to transform the visitor experience at Belsay Hall and Gardens.
The project includes work to rejuvenate our gardens, vital conservation work to the roof of the Hall, the Coach House and parts of the Castle. The project will also deliver a brand new woodland play-and-learn area with an outdoor classroom as well as a second tearoom near the Castle end of the site.
Gardens update January 2021
The restoration of the formal gardens in the Lower Terrace, Magnolia Terrace and the Yew Garden was completed by the end of December 2020. The garden team have restored much of the historic fabric of these areas, opening up historic views and restoring biodiversity. All the clearing and replanting work has been completed to the design of celebrity gardener Dan Pearson. Work is on-going in the woodland near the Hall where most of the self-sown trees and shrubs have been removed ahead of replanting work this spring. After Hall Wood, the garden team plan to begin work on the Winter Garden and the meadow area in the east quarry. The work to make Crag Wood more accessible and open up views of the surrounding countryside was completed in November 2020.
Charles Monk and Arthur Middleton were both great plant collectors and Dan Pearson has reflected the vibrancy and diversity of their original planting in his choice of his plants. Belsay Head Gardner, John Hawley has picked out two plants, new to Belsay, to look out for on your next visit – both can be found in the Lower Terrace below the Hall. Heptacodium, John says, “A shrub which produces fragrant white flowers in autumn and has attractive peeling bark which looks nice even through the winter months. Intriguingly it is often known as the Seven Son Flower Tree.”Clerodendrum, John says, “Some people will know it as the Glory Tree, it produce lovely reddish purple flowers in summer and nice autumn colours.”
A large scale project
Forming part of English Heritage's major programme of interpretation, presentation and conservation at sites in its care, work is due to start at Belsay in spring 2021 and be completed in 2022.
Belsay will remain open during the full season of 2021, with the exception of the Hall which will be closed during the scaffolding works. The grounds and gardens will be open for you to enjoy, and an ambitious conservation-in-action programme will allow visitors unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to see and hear about the conservation work and project plans which are transforming the site.
The project will include a range of skills training, work experience, traineeships and research opportunities.
In addition, there will also be exciting volunteer roles in the garden team as well as visitor engaging roles and many more coming soon. Keep yourself updated on our volunteer page below.
The property, one of English Heritage’s key sites in the North East, will in total benefit from an investment of £5.5m.
Current volunteer roles