Richmond walled garden to open for GeorgeFest

An 18th century Richmond walled garden with views of Richmond Castle and Culloden Tower is opening for GeorgeFest this weekend.

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.

The garden’s next-door neighbor is Culloden Tower, which is also open for GeorgeFest.

Culloden was built as a parkland ornament or folly around 1746. While the building’s exact date is unknown, it is know that it was originally called the Cumberland Temple and was built by John

Yorke I as a monument to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Cumberland’s army over Bonnie Prince Charlie near Inverness in April 1746. The tower has fantastic panoramic views across the town and over Mr. Yorke’s Walled Garden.

The Yorke family’s 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 interesting saplings that were to be grown on for sale, but many were left and are now mature.

The current owners, Dennis and Marcia McLuckie, have restored and redesigned the garden, which now has shrubs, trees, lawns, herbaceous borders, roses, ponds and a vegetable garden.

The restoration work started around eight years ago and is still ongoing.

The garden was very overgrown with brambles, convolvulus and other pernicious weeds. The couple have had help to restore the garden but this year they have managed it all themselves.

Marcia said” “We still don’t get much time to sit in the garden as there is still lot to do but that doesn’t really matter as we enjoy developing it. I suppose a garden is never really done as there are always new ideas and tempting plants to work with.

“It is such a tranquil place to work – it is hard to believe that it is in a busy market town.”

Local artist, Judi Allinson, is again setting up her easel to paint flowers and trees from life in the garden.

Judi said: “When I painted in Dennis and Marcia’s garden at the last open day, I enjoyed it very much.  The guests were lovely to chat to and were really interested in what I was doing. I find the garden breath taking, and I am so looking forwards to painting in it again”.

Judi works outside, enabling her to concentrate on the movement of flowers and the shifting light. She finds the plants and landscape inspiring and says, “I love to be outdoors, painting in all weathers.

“I take my inspiration from the beauty of the landscapes and the fleeting images that are revealed. From second to second the landscape is changing.”

Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden, Cravengate, Richmond, DL10 4RE will open for GeorgeFest on Sunday, August 18 1pm to 5.30pm.

Admission for adults is £5.00. Children under 16 are admitted free.

Pimms, wine and soft drinks on sale. All profits are for Welcome to Richmond projects.

There is no parking or drop-off 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.

For further information please email marcia@yorkshirecountryholidays.co.uk or call 01748 825525