Historic Richmond garden to open to the public

Visitors enjoying Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden

Art, music, flowers, trees, cake and conviviality are on offer when Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden in Richmond opens to the public next month.

The event on Sunday, June 9 from 1pm to 5.30pm will raise funds for Richmond MayFest 2025.

Local musicians Paul Leigh and Gill Page will be playing during the afternoon and local artist Judi Allinson will be painting and offering examples of her work for sale.

Tea and cakes will also be on sale as well as plants.

18th century Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden was built by John Yorke II, who lived with his wife, Anne, in a 17th Century mansion, which stood near the Green by the banks of the River Swale.

Their Richmond estate included the house, stables – now the car park on the Green –  formal gardens, the walled kitchen garden, the Green Walk, Culloden Tower and Temple Grounds.

Mr Yorke’s family mansion was demolished in the early 19th century, and the Walled Garden was later used as a market garden.

In the 1980s it was planted with a variety of saplings that were to be grown for sale, but many were left and are now mature.

The current owners, Dennis and Marcia McLuckie have retained trees and, where possible, the outline of the original paths, whilst restoring and redesigning the garden.

The garden extends to over an acre and has mature deciduous and coniferous trees, shrubs, fruit trees old and new, lawns, parterres, herbaceous borders, roses, ponds, a stream and a vegetable garden. A tranquil place to take time out from the bustle of life outside the walls.

Marcia said: “Since we started work on our garden some years ago, we have achieved a lot with redesign, taming existing planting, creating new beds and features as well as planting many new flowers, fruit and rose trees and more.

“We know there is still much to do and this year has been particularly challenging weatherwise with the alternating rain and sunshine. The upside is that the colours in the garden are very vibrant with wonderful shades of green in the trees and shrubs.

“We still have much to do – as well as keeping on top of the revitalised areas of he garden, there is a whole area of uncharted territory that we have started to reclaim this spring.

“We won’t pretend the garden is perfect and weed free – it is a lot to keep on top of between the two of us and Iris, who helps for a few hours each week, but we want to share the garden rather than keep it secretly behind its enormous walls! We also want to give support to local charities and opening the garden is an enjoyable way for us and our visitors to help. It feels more like a garden party than anything more formal.”

Marcia added: “Dennis and I are pleased to be opening our garden to support next year’s Richmond MayFest, which was a great success this year.

“The town really embraced the weekend-long event and there have been many, many positive comments from members of the public and local businesses.”

MayFest chair, Gill Page, said: “I and the other MayFest trustees appreciate the chance to raise vital funds in such a beautiful setting

“It is generous of Dennis and Marcia to open the garden, which I know entails a lot of work. This opening is also an indicator of how the community in Richmond has got behind MayFest.”

Mr. Yorke’s Walled Garden, Cravengate, Richmond, DL10 4RE. Open Sunday 9th June, 1 – 5.30pm. Admission for adults is £6.

Children under 16 are admitted free. Homemade cakes, refreshments and plants on sale. Proceeds from ticket sales and refreshments will go towards funding next year’s Richmond MayFest. There is no card machine so please make payment in cash.

There is no parking at the garden. Visitors are asked to park in Newbiggin, the Market Place or car parks at Nuns Close and The Green. The garden is on a hill. Main grass paths are accessible with a wheelchair, but they are quite steep.