Exciting plans unveiled to restore walled garden at historic Harlaxton Manor in Vale of Belvoir

Opening is not expected to take place for three years
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Exciting plans have been drawn up to restore and reopen a grade two listed walled garden at a historic house in the Vale of Belvoir.

The four acre walled garden at Harlaxton Manor, which was described in 1875 as being ‘unlike any others to be found in Britain’ has been closed to the public for many years.

But under the plans by Harlaxton Manor, and its custodian, Harlaxton College, the impressive walled gardens will get a new lease of life and become a focal point for education and community activities.

This image shows how the new look Walled Gardens at Harlaxton Manor should look after completion.This image shows how the new look Walled Gardens at Harlaxton Manor should look after completion.
This image shows how the new look Walled Gardens at Harlaxton Manor should look after completion.

The plans envisage the creation of a new sensory garden, medicinal garden and orchard, as well as a Shakespeare-inspired garden and an avenue of blossoming trees plus an Innovation Hub.

The gardens would be open as a visitor destination as well as being used for the education of students of Harlaxton College, the overseas study campus of the University of Evansville in Indiana.

They will also host weddings, concerts and exhibitions and can also be used by local groups and the wider community.

If the project secures planning approval, it is hoped that construction can begin next June with a public opening of the gardens in 2025.

An aerial view of the Walled Gardens at Harlaxton Manor.An aerial view of the Walled Gardens at Harlaxton Manor.
An aerial view of the Walled Gardens at Harlaxton Manor.

Ian Welsh, project director of the Walled Garden, said: “We’re hugely excited by the amazing plans that we and our partners have been working on for the astonishing Walled Garden of Harlaxton Manor.

“Throughout its long history, the manor and its grounds have had several owners and while the walls are in good condition, the gardens themselves have fallen into disuse, so this four acre site has not been open to the public.

“As part of the 50th anniversary of Harlaxton College, we’ve been looking ahead to the future, working on new ways to allow more people to discover the incredible manor and its grounds - and the regeneration of the Walled Garden is something we’ve dreamed of for many years.

Mr Welsh added: “​​​​​​​​​“We have always believed that our education and heritage missions are complementary and mutually supportive.

This image shows how the Walled Gardens should appear after the completion of restoration works.This image shows how the Walled Gardens should appear after the completion of restoration works.
This image shows how the Walled Gardens should appear after the completion of restoration works.

"By giving the walled garden and buildings the love, care and craftsmanship they need, we can bring the garden to a wider audience while reimagining our academic programs and enhancing the student experience.

"It would provide opportunities for enhanced community engagement and participation, increase biodiversity and reduce our environmental impact.

“We’re many years away from seeing this project through to completion, and it’s a huge undertaking, but we’re energised and inspired by the amazing potential of this garden and we can’t wait to see it in full bloom.”

Key features of the restoration include renovating the historic walls, gates and railings along with existing buildings which include the Gardener’s Cottage, outbuildings and glasshouses.

There will be spaces for education and visitor engagement as well as a shop and restaurant and cafe.

A new Innovation Hub will be built on the footprint of a collection of former greenhouses in an area that’s to be named Gregory Court.

This area, named after Gregory Gregory who oversaw construction of Harlaxton Manor and the Walled Garden, was once used as a proving ground for growing plants from seed.

This area will be used to provide facilities for student education and changemaking, in which students work together to forge ideas for solving social problems.

Mr Welsh said that sustainable design principles will be used throughout with existing buildings being retrofitted with improved insulation, low-energy lighting and water capturing techniques. The Innovation Hub will be built to some of the highest environmental standards.

The proposals have been jointly prepared with the support of leading conservationists, heritage managers and environmental experts plus representatives of the community and officers of South Kesteven District Council, Historic England and Lincolnshire County Council.