New Event – the Sir John Savile Household

Very exciting news here at Hornby, we are hosting the Sir John Savile Household on the 27 – 28 June 2015, they are a historical re-enactment society and they will be here for two days.

Come and experience life during the 15 century, Wars of the Roses.

See how Sir John’s men were trained in the arts of warfare – including the mighty English warbow, see his spearmen armed with the feared English Bill and marvel at his guns, the pinnacle of military technology!

The dances of the time will be performed by the household and join in if you wish. The camp will also have members of the group in full period dress so there will be chances to learn about the clothing, fashions and status.

We will be opening the gardens as usual and there will be refreshments on site, as well as a pottery and ceramic exhibition and historical talks in the castle drawing room.

Put the date in your diary and come along!

Happy New Year & Snowdrops!

Happy New Year from all of us here at Hornby Castle.

We are working hard to get the gardens ready for the Snowdrop weekend in February 21/22 2015. There is a lot of muck to move from the changes we are making to some of the main borders and this is taking time and some fair amount of back strain!

The first snowdrops are beginning to poke their heads through the ground. Always exciting to see the garden with the first bits of life in both the hellebores and the snowdrops and the odd primrose.

Do come and see us in February, there will be Wyn Abbot displaying her wonderful ceramics and tea and cakes in the walled garden. Talks as usual from Sue Bull on the history of the house and Ken Green giving his gardening talks too.

We are open from 11-4 and the admission is £4. Dogs allowed on leads.


If you are a member of a gardening group, historical society or even just a group of friends we can arrange special tours around the garden (please note garden only minimum 20 people). If you would like to know more or arrange a visit please get in touch through our contact pages. Ken Green our head gardener also visits a number of gardening groups and can be contacted through us.

An amazing summer and now autumn has arrived

New borders dug in to the main lawn

New borders dug in to the main lawn

After we shut our gates in May there has been a lot of hard work in the gardens.

We lost a tree next to the main lawn pond, so this has really opened up the area and we have to decide what to do with all the light and space. Ken and Mary have also been digging out and replanting the herbaceous border.

We have rather a lot of bindweed that needs attention so we are removing all of the plants from the border and using the opportunity (if you can call it that) to split many of the plants that have been in situ for a considerable time.

In order to find somewhere to plant all the contents we have dug two new borders in to the top of the main lawn raised bank areas, which face the herbaceous border. (A very uninspiring picture above!) We have also re-planted many of the shrubs in other borders around the garden as and when we can. Mary has found some fabulous unused spaces for some of the large hostas and we can’t wait to see what the effect will be in the spring.

Another major change is happening down at the main pond near the azalea walks, we currently have the diggers in. We drained the pond and helped by the dry weather we are now trying to remove some considerable build up of silt. It is an exciting time and hopefully will improve the quality of the pond for years to come.

We are now on leaf collection – final lawn cuts and hedge trimming and most importantly collecting conkers, thankfully there are a few last roses to keep the place looking a little jolly.



The month of May and our Garden open weekend

Pink Peony

Pink Peony in the herbaceous border

It seemed only a minute ago that we were closing the doors on a wonderful snowdrop weekend.

We had lots of visitors and the feedback we had was great. We are now gearing up to do it all again, but with the garden looking very different.

The pink peony shown in the picture has just popped out in the herbaceous border on the main lawn. They are so beautiful and there are lots of buds across all the peonies, so for the open weekend there should hopefully be a good display.

In fact there is so much in bloom I am constantly surprised and delighted as I walk around the garden.

We hope you come and see for yourself. The gardens are open on the 24th & 25th May 2014 from 10.30am until 4.30pm each day, entrance is £3.

Find out more about our Hornby Castle Garden Open Days.


Hornby Castle Snowdrop Weekend build up!


Hornby Snowdrop Weekend

Here are some of the little snowdrops that are already appearing in the garden, there are plenty more that are also just poking their green tips out of the soil.

As ever with our garden there are always changes and we have had the odd tree down over the course of the year, which gives us the opportunity to stand back and think about what direction we should go in with some of the wooded areas. Some shrubs don’t survive the deer. the frost or the rabbits, but overall the garden is looking great. We have moved the snowdrop weekend forward by a weekend so hopefully this gives more time for them all to be out and fluffed up to their full glory.

Full details on the Hornby Castle gardens page, but we are open on the 22nd and 23rd February 11-4 so come and see the gardens, don’t just take our word for it.

Hornby Castle Garden Open weekend

The Wild Garlic and Bluebells in May

The Wild Garlic and Bluebells in May

Well the open weekend is nearly here, we have trimmed, chopped, mown, weeded, planted, weeded some more and the farmer is moving the cows so we can park on the field (fingers crossed).

It is forecast to be sunny – hurrah! – so if you are nearby come and take a look. 25/26 May 10.30-4.30 entrance £3, woodland and riverside walks, talks on the history of the castle, ceramic sculpture & pottery selling exhibition, garden talks by Ken Green our resident award winning gardener, plus plenty of gorgeous plants to buy and even stop for a cup of tea and some cake.

See you this weekend, and don’t forget to bring the dog!

Not long now – Hornby Castle Open Weekend

2013-05-08 19.53.18With the joy of a bit of rain, but quite a lot of sun, the garden is doing its best to catch up, lots of flowers are out on the early rhododendrons and the azalea by the pond is looking fabulous.

I am personally enjoying the blossom on some of the trees that we planted last year even if the rabbits seem to have nibbled one quite badly and another has been attacked by deer. We have lost so many trees in the various gales in the last 2 years, it is great to see the next generation of replacements growing and I can’t wait to get more in to the garden gradually over the next year or so.

The wildlife is getting going too, cows are back in the fields, there are newts in the pond, hedgehogs mating on the drive, oyster catchers on the river and the occasional otter has also been seen.

This also means we are gearing ourselves up for the late May opening, 25th/26th this year and the garden is really taking shape, by then we will be in prime position for everything to be in bloom and the garden to be at its best. Let’s hope the sun stays!


The sun doth shine!

The sun is shining here again today, but it is still cold. The deer are having a really good go at the garden and they have left very few things alone. More excitingly there is some new planting taking place, where we have cleared the bamboo at the bottom of the drive and in the rockery. It is pruning time so quite a lot of the lovely winter colour from the gorgeous Cornus has vanished, thankfully the daffodils are coming out and some of our early flowering rhododendrons are also providing a bit of much needed colour. Not long until we open again in May – get the date in your diaries 25th & 26th 10.30-4.30 more info on our gardens page.

Snowdrops over – roll on May (with a few daffs in between)

Huge thanks to everyone who came to our Snowdrop weekend, we had a staggering amount of people through the gate, I am only sorry that I was ill and confined to my bed for most of the weekend.

Ken & Sue’s talks went down well as usual and Wyn did a brisk trade in her delightful ceramics. Personally I can’t get enough of her moon gazing hares. The snowdrops weren’t all out, but they rallied a bit to be looking pretty good in most places over the weekend. With the sun shining on Sunday I think everything looked spectacular, but then I am biased and this was limited to what I could see from my bedroom window and on Monday.

If you missed this open weekend don’t forget the gardens open again in May, this time there will be lots of things flowering and the gardens are a riot of colour with the rhododendrons and azaleas looking stunning. Come and visit 25th & 26th May 2013.

Now I am getting better I will also endeavour to keep the site up to date with all the latest news and garden updates.