Monday, March 21, 2011

Biddulph Grange Garden

We've recently re-joined the National Trust.  We let our membership lapse a few years ago when we were having to live on a strict budget.  Things are a little easier now so we decided it was time to branch out again.  Our first visit was to our nearest National Trust property at Biddulph just north of the city.

Biddulph Grange is a Victorian garden created by James Bateman whose interest in science, botany and theology  led him to collect plants and fossils from all over the world and this is reflected in the design of the garden.  It was laid out between the years of 1841 and 1868 in a series of small gardens with a geographical theme.

You can wander though dark underground tunnels.  This one brings you out onto the glen a beautiful walk amongst tall trees like redwoods and monkey puzzles.

At the top of this walk is the Shelter house through which you can pass into the Egyptian Garden.

and from the upstairs you can look down onto the dahlia walk which is a riot of colour in high summer.  Just beyond the hedge is the mosaic parterre  and Mrs Bateman's garden.

There is a wonderful, twisting path through upturned tree roots  which brings you out onto the recently restored 'great wall of China'

This part of the garden is very popular with visitors as it twists and turns and keeps you guessing where it will go next.

Take this route along the wall and you will enter the Chinese themed garden, with its temple overlooking a tranquil pool full of huge goldfish.

The colourful bridge leads through to a small garden and round to the temple.

Below is the bust of a sacred water buffalo 

The large urn stands at the top of the Wellingtonia Avenue

below is part of the Italian style garden

The house itself isn't open to the public and has been turned into luxury living accommodation.

Above is the newly opened James Bateman geological gallery.  It is currently being restored so not yet finished but it was  fascinating to see how he had tried to piece together the aspects of geological time and fossil remains with his understanding of the biblical days of creation.

Also new since our last visit were a woodland walk with tactile activities for children and a kitchen garden complete with raised beds, composting area, scarecrow and beehive.  There is a shop and cafe and  picnicing is allowed outside the garden.  A great start to our year of National Trust visits!


  1. Ive never been here - and we too have let our NT membership lapse due to current financial restraints. It looks great and your photos are lovely as ever. xxx

  2. Never been there so thanks for the most lovely tour! We are members too and will have to make a trip. Love Darcy, Bingley and Helen xxx

  3. We had NT cards for a couple of years but never got around to visiting this property, it looks so lovely :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  4. A really fascinating garden. I bet James Bateman had a really interesting life and quite a vision to incorporate the things he had seen and learnt into his garden. x

  5. I LOVE Biddulph! We're much closer to Calke Abbey though. I must make an effort and get up to the other end of the A50.

    Looks like you had gorgeous weather for your trip.

  6. Wow, what a place!! How I'd love to explore that tunnel!!

  7. haha, we almost went there on Sunday, but I decided to save it for a bit later in they year!

    It's been about three years since we last went so I didn't know about the new geological gallery. I look forward to seeing that when it is complete!

  8. We havn't been to Biddulph for years.I must put it on our "to do" list for this summer.We are NT members and are lucky to have all the N Wales properties and gardens to visit plus Cheshire.None that far away.

  9. Wow, that looks a lovely place to vist. We're toying with joining the NT this year as we off to Cornwall on holiday and thought we might join to save a little cash on our visits. If we join I think we must make a journey up to Biddulph too - may as well make the most of our membership.

  10. Wow! What an amazing place ... each photo is stunning!
    I'd love to join the NT but we always have a big black dog with us so we wouldn't be able to go in to lots of places!

  11. It must be about 8 years since we last came to Biddulph Grange. We are members of the National Trust, so I really must head over this way again!

  12. What an amazing place Rosie. So many themes and points of interest. I'm fascinated by the Egyptian Garden!

    Biddulph Grange is most definitely on my list of NT places to visit this year.


    PS Congratulations on your 5th blog anniversary. Five years! Well done you!!

  13. I'd love to know how you got all those wonderful photos without people wandering in. Were you there by yourselves? This is somewhere I've been meaning to visit for years. Maybe this year?


  14. Thanks for all your comments, folks. Hope some of your are able to visit as the place is wonderful and different in each season of the year.

    Tracey - there were quite a few people around I'm just very patient and wait for them to clear an area then quickly take a photo before the next group of visitors come along! I don't think I'd have managed that in the Summer though:)