Moseley Old Hall Garden
Moseley Old Hall is a richly panelled Elizabethan house, famous for sheltering King Charles II during his escape from the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The property has a splendid recreation of a 17th century garden, which includes a stunning formal knot garden, arbour and nut walk. All the plants and herbs grown in the garden are 17th century varieties.
MOSELEY OLD HALL GARDEN
The garden at Moseley Old Hall is a modern reconstruction of a 17th century garden. The present design was begun in 1963 but most of the plants and shrubs were recorded in England prior to1700.
The front garden consists of lawns in which stand spirals and cones of Box and two beds of Tutsan with an edging of Wall Germander.
Mixed borders against the walls contain herbaceous plants, shrubs and old roses of European origin, including the red rose of Lancaster.
Among the herbaceous plants are a double form of the soapwort, which was used for cleaning fabrics, Red Valerian, and Cupid’s Dart, which was formerly used in love potions.
Bulbs were a feature of these early gardens – in particular striped tulips, the Crown Imperial and for early summer the Madonna lily.
By the gate is the common Laburnum and scrambling over the garden walls Early Dutch Honeysuckle.
A wrought iron gate is copied from a 17th Century example in Malpas churchyard leads to a shaped, timber arbour in the main garden. The design was taken from one in Thomas Hill’s A Gardener’ s Labyrinth of 1577. On it are trained the Virgin’s Bower, C. Viticella and Teinturier Grape and in the borders below is Old English Lavender.
One of the principle features of the garden is the Knot garden which follows one of five designs laid out by the Rev. Walter Stonehouse, Rector of Darfield, Yorkshire in 1640. This comparatively simple pattern of beds is composed of Dwarf Box and gravels and stones of contrasting tints; some of the beds contain box spheres on stems. The arbour leads through a short Hornbeam tunnel to the Nut alley, lined with different varieties of Hazel. Snowdrops, Winter Aconite, Snakes Head Fritillary and Meadow Saffron are naturalised in the grass below the boundary wall.
Opening off the Nut Alley is a flagged path leading to the back of the house lined with Morello Cherry, quince mulberry and medlar trees. A small herb garden enclosed by Box hedges is close by.
To the West of the herb garden is a small orchard which has 17th century varieties of fruit and trees with a border of old shrub roses. By the barn can be seen ‘ bee-boles’ set into the wall; they are shelters for straw bee skeps, which were used until replaced by the modern timber hives. Between the gazebo and the wall is a short avenue of old varieties of pears trained as pyramids in the traditional way.
The border between the Knot and the south side of the house is filled with period annuals for summer effect.
On the wall of the house grows the genuine musk rose of Southern Europe and North Africa, first grown in this country in the days of Elizabeth I.
By the gazebo are two small parterres bordered with Dwarf Box and containing lemon and common thyme, camomile and parsley. The banks by the barn are planted with mixed varieties of lavender.
The garden is open:
18th March to 29th October 2006 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 - 5pm
5th November to 17th December 2006 on Sundays only from 12 - 4pm.
2006 House & Garden Admission Prices:
National Trust Members: Free
Group Rate: £4.30
For more information please see our website.
Name and credits for images of Moseley Old Hall
Description of image - Colourful border along the South Front of Moseley Old Hall, facing the Knot Garden.
Description of image - The Knot Garden with low box hedges outlining the pattern and box spheres standing like sentinels.
Credit for photograph: Nick Meers
Copyright: ©NTPL/Nick Meers
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