Historic Gardens

Historic Gardens

From sweeping vistas to organic vegetables, English Heritage cares for a number of historic gardens and landscapes around the country.

Learn more about the history of gardens through the ages, including those created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown - the 18th century pioneer who radically changed the world of landscape gardening.

Please check the individual property pages of the sites you'd like to visit for the most up-to-date information.

Spring Garden Highlights

With longer, brighter days and the warmth gradually returning, it's time to get out and start exploring. Experience spring in all its glory with a visit to one of our expertly cared for historic gardens in England.

Enjoy delicate snowdrops, spring daffodils and vibrant blossoms as our gardens burst into colour. Here's our pick of some of the best spring gardens to visit this season.

Find a garden

Podcast: Belsay Awakes

Join head of English Heritage’s gardens and landscape team, John Watkins, and acclaimed landscape designer Dan Pearson, for a combination of history and horticulture as we find out about the planned transformation of the gardens at Belsay Hall in Northumberland.

Discover the history of the gardens, the plans to bring them back to their blooming best, and the wider project to transform the visitor experience at this spectacular site.

Listen on Soundcloud

Perfect Parterres

Every year our gardeners and volunteers take on the epic work of planting our parterre gardens with unique spring and summer displays. They are a showcase for horticultural skill and taste, and are very labour intensive. 

Read our article to find out more about the definition of a parterre, the history of parterre gardens and the historic sites where you can find them.

Find out more

Gardens to Visit

From rolling parkland and stunning vistas to elegant parterres and working kitchen gardens, we look after some of the most magnificent gardens in the country.

If you're looking for inspiration, we've picked out some of our favourites here.

Top 10 Gardens

HISTORIC GARDEN BLOGS

Stories

from England's gardens

  • Gardens Through Time

    Use this timeline to trace the evolution of gardens in England, from medieval monks to Capability Brown and William Morris. 

  • Weeding Women: Shaping England's Gardens

    Until the late 19th century professional gardeners were always men. However, this does not mean that England’s gardens were only shaped by male hands.

  • Gardens Conservation

    English Heritage looks after many nationally important historic gardens and landscapes. Discover how our experts care for these special outdoor spaces.

Blooming Gardens events

Enjoy our beautiful historic gardens at their blooming best.

MORE TO EXPLORE

  • Spacious Places

    Here are some of the places where it's easiest to explore history in the open air away from the crowds.

  • Days Out with Dogs

    There are plenty of dog-friendly sites across the whole of England for you to enjoy alongside your furry friends.

  • History at Home

    We're here to help you discover the best stories of England’s past from the comfort of your home.

  • Shop Toys and Games

    Have fun with our collection of traditional toys and games, from family-favourite board games and dressing up costumes, to lawn games and more.

'step into englands story