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The grounds of Beeleigh Abbey include three acres of spacious and peaceful gardens in an historic rural setting, beautifully extended and revived in the last few years.
Mature trees surround a variety of planting and water features: woodland walks under-planted with bulbs leading to the tidal River Chelmer, cottage & bog gardens, an extensive formal rose garden filled with over 300 modern english roses, kitchen & soft fruit gardens, orchard, wild flower meadow, wisteria walk, and stunning 85 metre long double mixed borders. Specimen trees include Magnolia,Tulip and Indian Bean.
The extensive lawn contains the most recent project with the scenic backdrop of of the remains of a 12th century abbey incorporated into a mainly 17th century private residence. A new ornamental glasshouse & herb garden was completed last year.
Please note the house is not open to garden visitors.
GARDENS REMAIN CLOSED FOR 2020 SEASON
The decision has been taken not to open the gardens due to the coronavirus for the rest of the year. The safety of our visitors is very important to us. We hope to welcome you back to the gardens next year. Keep an eye out on the website early next year for open dates.
Spring carries on regardless at Beeleigh, hidden from view
The plants at Beeleigh know nothing of lockdowns and this spring has been truly glorious once again. Blossoms and bulbs have been a delight reserved for the gaze of the emboldened wildlife, the household and the few gardening helpers not self isolating. Chris Cork hopes to reopen the gardens just as soon as the regulations permit, even if refreshments are off limits until things return more to normal. Meanwhile he thought you’d like to enjoy something of what is there at the moment so you can put a forward reminder in your diary for April 2021!
Due to the operational difficulties presented by the Covid-19 virus it has been decided that the gardens will remain closed to the public for the 2020 season.
This page will updated when the 2021 dates are available.
Children aged 5-16 £2.50
Children under 5 free
Only cash payments can be accepted.
There is free parking, and a marquee offering refreshments for sale beside the main lawn. Plants, other produce and various printed stationery can be purchased at the entrance.
GARDEN DESIGN AND HISTORY
The grounds first recorded occupation was in 1180 by Premonstratensian canons. After various subsequent owners including several generations of the Francke family, the grounds reverted to farming and market gardening in the 18th and 19th centuries. The current layout nearest the house is probably by Basil Ionides and Wykeham Chancellor in the early 20th century.
More recently different generations of the Foyle family have extended the planted areas and added features such as a statue of Beeleigh Abbey's founder. The last few years in particular, since the purchase in 2000 by Christopher and Catherine Foyle, have seen considerable improvements with further projects in hand.
WHAT TO SEE IN SEASON
The three acres of garden are surrounded by mature trees which on the northern boundary give way to a tidal stretch of the River Chelmer. Within this area, a range of different individual gardens and water features can be found.
April starts the season with primroses, daffodils and tulips, together with camellias, magnolias and fruit blossom. A further 4,000 bulbs were planted in autumn 2018
May has spring bedding, and bulbs displayed in the mixed borders, along with magnolias and rhododendrons. Enjoy the bluebells that lead down to the river, and then later in the month the wisteria arches that divide the soft fruit garden from the rose garden.
In June roses take centre stage now totalling around 600, from the formal rose garden & hybrid tea bed to many shrub, climbing & rambling roses.
In July the cottage, bog gardens and meadow are at their best, with the kitchen and soft fruit gardens full of produce.
In August summer bedding displays are at their peak. The extensive mixed borders are now full of colour with many different perennials & shrubs.
September sees the roses put on another great display. Harvest time in the kitchen garden & orchard.
Directions to the Abbey:
On leaving Maldon via London Road, take first right after Cemetery into Abbey Turning. Post code CM9 6LL
There is level access to most of the garden, with gravel paths and some gentle slopes. One of the toilets can be accessed by wheelchair.
Groups of potential visitors are most welcome but should first contact 07506 867122 for advise on catering and transport, especially as the narrow approach road is unsuitable for some types of coaches
Children must be supervised at all times because of potential hazards such as unfenced deep water.
Assistance dogs only please.
The new herb garden and ornamental glasshouse was completed in 2019. The herb garden includes a patio area, water rill and water feature as well as growing a wide range of both culinary and medicinal herbs.
The glasshouse, measuring 13m x 3.5m, is divided into 3 growing areas. The central area houses tender climbers and citrus. The left hand side grows peach, grapes, tomatoes and other seasonal fruit and vegetables. The right hand features a display of seasonal pot plants.