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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
12th Feb - 6th Mar; Sat & Sun; 11am - 5.30pm
12th Mar - 30th Oct; Thurs - Tues; 11am - 5.30pm
Out of season by appointment only. Last admission 30mins before closing
With head gardener
Gift Aid Admission (Standard Admission prices in brackets): Adult £6.50 (£5.89), child £3.60 (£3.27), family £16.60 (£15.09)
Delightful English country garden; One of Wiltshire's best-kept secrets; Full of mystery, variety and colour; Peaceful water gardens planted with irises and lilies; Unusual topiary and garden ornaments
Tollgate Inn, Holt
Tollgate Inn, Holt
The garden is not dissimilar to Hidcote with its well defined compartments, though it is more informal and just as full of delightful surprises. The topiary and hedges are different in form for each 'room' and against a backdrop of some good specimen trees, the planting schemes include half moon shaped white, pink and lilac rooms as well as blue and yellow borders, a fuschia border and a fernery with bamboos as background. There is a lovely walk reminiscent of Mediterranean countries with orange, scarlet, yellow and silver flowers and many different lavenders. Sir George Hastings brought some interesting statuary from Ranelagh House in Barnes and installed it here in the garden.
In the lower garden the water-loving plants predominate by what was once the millstream. There are irises, and masses of waterlilies of every colour in the large pool and beyond in the former dyeing pool (for the mill) are giant gunnera. The autumn colours from the acers, viburnums and Sargent's Cherry are spectacular. Finally, in the arboretum formality disappears and trees such as chestnuts, limes, walnuts and beech tower over the Spring daffodils and later the Snakeshead Fritillarias.
The early Georgian house may have been the local law courts as the property's name suggests. This is not certain though it is known that the house did originally have a mill nearby but this was pulled down in the late nineteenth century. Since then, Sir George Sir George Hastings, the architect, laid out the garden in the early 1900s in a scheme which was elaborated on by Lady Cecile Goff 20 years later, after WWI. It was she who paved the paths and terraces with slabs collected when Devizes gaol was demolished. Her daughter Moyra Goff, planted the arboretum in 1952 in an area that had previously been pasture.