Beeleigh Abbey Gardens Open Days
The plants at Beeleigh knew nothing about lockdowns and last year's displays were truly glorious once again and the blossoms and bulbs were a delight sadly reserved for the gaze of the emboldened wildlife, the household, and the few gardening helpers not self-isolating.
We are pleased to announce that the gardens will be open to the public again this year (subject to any restrictions applying at the time) and look forward to greeting our friends again and to show off the gardens and the work that has been taking place during lockdown. Please see the opening dates below.
Refreshments will be served in the NEW TEA CABIN AND COURTYARD AREA surrounded by Mediterranean style planting and with safety measures in place in order to be as Covid safe as possible. The plant area will be now offering a more extensive range of plants.
The grounds of Beeleigh Abbey include three acres of spacious and peaceful gardens in a 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, wildflower 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 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.
April 23rd (NGS)
May 7th, 14th & 28th
June 4th, 11th & 25th
July 9th, 23rd & 30th
August 13th, 20th & 27th
September 10th & 17th
Open 10.30 am to 4.30 pm
Last admission 3.30 pm
Please note that the dates above will be subject to any government restrictions applying at the time.
Children aged 5-16 £2.50
Children under 5 free
There is free parking and refreshments are available. Plants, other produce and various printed stationery can be purchased.
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.