Leith Hall & Gardens

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Huntly, Aberdeenshire,
Scotland, AB54 4NQ

01464 831148


Listed By
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2018-01-18 00:58:23

Opening Days and Hours
Dates/days/times open:

Garden & Grounds; all year; 7 days a week; 9am - sunset.

Parties/Coaches: Yes
Group Appointment: Yes
House Open for Viewing: Yes
National Garden Scheme days: Yes

Series of guided walks in May, June and July (see SGS yellow book for details)

Best Times of Year to Visit:

July - Aug.

To see:

Extensive herbaceous borders and extensive views.

Admission Prices

Car Park Pay & Display £2 Garden only: Adult £3; Concession £1.90; NT members free.

Onsite Facilities
Parking: Yes
Shop: Yes
Teas: No
Dogs Allowed: No
Lavatories: Yes
Plants for Sale: Yes
Refreshment: No
On Lead only: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Lunches: No
Picnics: Yes
Special Events: Yes
Other Facilities & Comments:

Pond walk suitable for wheelchairs; disabled toilet. Dogs on lead on estate walks only. Plants for sale on SGS Day.

Garden Features & Events

The House contains many tapestries, several interesting clocks, some fine china and a wonderful collection of family portraits and paintings. Unique military exhibition titled 'For Crown and Country' The estate contains several way marked trails to explore

English Heritage/Visit Scotland Garden Grade:
National Collection:
Nearby Cambridgeshire Hotels, Facilities & Amenities

Hotels & Accommodation:

Gordon Arms, Huntly Huntly Hotel Castle Hotel, Huntly

Inns & Pubs:

Nearest facilities 6 miles at Insch and Huntly

Villages / Towns / Sightseeing:

Kildrummy Castle & Gardens Huntly Castle

Description of Garden

The garden at Leith Hall is, in fact, a series of smaller gardens, each sheltered by a wall or hedge and each with its own special character, rising on a gentle slope from the West Drive. Particularly eye-catching is the solid carpet of blue catmint filling one entire border, and providing an attractive foil to the colourful palette of the more traditional herbaceous and rose beds.

Redesigned by the Trust is the rock garden with a little stream twinkling its way through winding gravel paths and stone crevices to which heather and alpine plants cling.

At the top of the garden, near the curved stables, is the circular Moon Gate leading to the old turnpike road, once the main thoroughfare to Aberdeen. Close by is a collection of historic stones, and two of the most interesting, scheduled as Ancient Monuments, are Pictish in origin.

The Salmon Stone was once part of a much larger stone and along its broken top edge are fragmentary traces of the fish which gives it its name. The main decoration, rather like a horseshoe, is thought to depict a torc or neck ornament. The Wolf Stone has a well-executed outline of a wolf carved on its face.

In contrast to the walled gardens is the open vista to the front of the house where a careful choice of trees and shrubs creates a parkland effect. The estate is fairly modest in size (236 acres) but its interest lies in the variety of scene - pasture and glade, woodland and moorland - and also in the variety of wildlife. There are two nature trails, each about one and a half to two miles long. There is also a new pond walk especially designed to accommodate wheel- and push-chairs.

History Of Garden

The lairds at Leith Hall have made improvements over the generations, but the present garden owes most to the second to last laird, C. E. N. Leith-Hay and his wife Henrietta who, in the earlier part of the 20th century, extended and designed it on its present lines.

The part of the garden nearest to the house, which had grown produce during the World War II, was restored by Henrietta's niece, the Hon Mary O'Neill, and her husband, Lt. Col. Derick Gascoigne. They lived in part of Leith Hall as tenants of the Trust for many years and their son Brian, and his wife, continue the family connection.

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