Hidden garden is rediscovered
AN HISTORIC garden, which dates back more than 150 years and lain neglected until it was re-discovered 14 years ago, is now open for public viewing.
The beautiful Ramsey Abbey Gardens are a typical Victorian walled garden within the boundaries of the medieval Ramsey Abbey, but records show that it dates back even further.
Eighteenth century documents refer to The Kitching Garden and record The Garden Grounds or Wall Garden near Ramsey Church.
A spokeswoman for the gardens, Jane Yardley said: “In 1737, the estate was purchased by the Fellowes family and in 1804, the architect Sir John Soane was commissioned to modernise the old house, including the creation of a new garden.
“Later, Edward Fellowes engaged the architect of Buckingham Palace, Edward Blore, to make further improvements including designing the garden’s entrance gate.”
For more than 100 years, the garden flourished, producing fruit, flowers and vegetables for the house all year round and these were also sent by rail to the family’s London home.
In the 1950s, it was used as a market garden but eventually the garden became neglected.
Jane added: “Since its re-discovery in 1996, volunteers have cleared brambles and overgrown vegetation from the one-acre site, so that a col- lection of flowers and produce could be planted to reflect the history of horticulture in Cambridgeshire.”
An apple tunnel, which was once one of the original features of the garden, has been reinstated. Twenty varieties of apples, which have connections with the county, have been planted along the central path including the Huntingdon Codlin, Chivers Delight and Barnack Beauty.
Visitors can also buy seasonally-grown vegetables, fruit and flowers as well as jams, chutneys and preserves.
Ramsey Abbey walled kitchen garden is accessed through Ramsey Rural Museum, where there is free parking.
Entry to the garden is free in 2010. For more details about opening times and volunteering there, visit www.ramseywalledgarden.org