Melbourne Hall stands in an idyllic setting at the east end of the village overlooking the 20 acre mill pool. Passers-by get little more than a fleeting glimpse, because its principal aspects are south and east towards the parkland and gardens, while the courtyards and outbuildings separate it from the village to the north and west.
Melbourne Hall Gardens with its broad sweeps of lawn, avenues and unexpected vistas is one of the most treasured historical gardens in the country and is the best surviving early 18th century English garden in the manner of le Notre. It was laid out by Rt. Hon Thomas Coke, Vice Chamberlain to Queen Anne, with help from the garden landscape designers George London and Henry Wise in the formal style. It is noted for its long tunnel of Yew, its wrought iron arbour created by Robert Bakewell and its statuary by Jan van Nost, notably the Four seasons monument, a gift from Queen Anne.
There have been few radical alterations to the gardens since the early 18th century. However, in the earlier part of t he 20th century, Lord Walter Kerr and his wife Lady Amabel carried out extensive restoration.
A major feature of the garden is the wrought iron arbour known as the ‘Birdcage’ which was made by the celebrated ironsmith Robert Bakewell in 1706-1708 for £120.
It was made in the basement of ‘Stone House’, which still stands on the South side of the parish church. The arbour made Bakewell famous, but its manufacture left him penniless.
In form, it is derived from wooden arbours common on French gardens. Bakewell went on to produce famous ironwork for many important buildings. Two other examples nearby are the chancel screens in Derby Cathedral and Staunton Harold Church.
ItineraryJoin us at Melbourne Hall Gardens with its broad sweeps of lawn, avenues and unexpected vistas, it is one of the best known historic gardens in the country and the best surviving early 18th century English garden in the manner of Le Notre. That said, you don’t have to be a historian or horticulturalist to enjoy the beauty of Melbourne Hall Gardens.
Melbourne Hall tearooms are located within the walls of the Hall, offering hot and cold food and drinks.
Melbourne is very well served for pubs, restaurants and shops. The parish church dedicated to St. Michael and St. Mary, located adjacent to Melbourne Hall is one of the finest in England.
Facilities and Access
At Melbourne Hall Gardens we have tried to make all areas accessible to wheelchairs, buggies and pedestrians. However, by the nature of the garden, there are some quite steep slopes and steps – although there is generally an alternative. Some paths are uneven due to tree roots and care needs to be taken. The gardeners are always happy to be of assistance whenever possible – do please ask if you require any assistance.
Public toilets are located in the Visitor Centre near the entrance to the gardens.
No dogs are allowed within the gardens except assistance dogs.
There is limited parking in Church Square and Castle Square.
This adventure is perfect for individuals and small groups, and can be tailored for:
Make this experience your own: Send Enquiry