There's magic and mystery, history and intrigue, romance and peace at this beautiful venue – which provides such an unusual combination of a traditional heritage garden with the excitement, challenge and contemporary landscaping of the ancient woodland – appealing to young and old alike.
First laid out in 1674 on a gentle, south-facing slope, the formal walled gardens are set against the romantic backdrop of a medieval moat, surrounding a classical Restoration manor house (not open to the public) and were designed as outside rooms.
The gate to the Secret Garden leads to a tiny hidden corner where a tiny stream tumbles into the moat. It was here that Philip Packer was sitting reading a book in the sunshine when he died. Towards the end of the fifteenth century the owner of Groombridge Place, Richard Waller, fell in love with Cicely Neville who was known for her beauty. She was the wife of Richard Plantagenet and mother of Richard III. Legend claims when she died in 1495 she was buried in Groombridge churchyard and Waller planted a hawthorn tree over her grave. In 1900 a branch was taken in an attempt to strike new growth but the attempt failed. A piece of Waller's love-tree still resides in the Secret Garden in a box on the wall. Sadly this theory is untrue. Historical evidence doesn't support it. and Cicely Neville is buried in Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire; also there was no churchyard at Groombridge till the 1630s.
Tel: +44 (0)1892 861444
Fax: +44 (0)1892 863996
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015