Re­viv­ing the sto­ried walled gar­den

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

park. The ex­ist­ing kitchen gar­den – con­sid­ered a sym­bol of so­cial sta­tus in Ge­or­gian Bri­tain – was re­lo­cated and ex­panded, re­quir­ing 150 staff to run it.

Hud­son says in its hey­day it had “a clas­sic lay­out of quad­rants and beds burst­ing with pro­duce. The walls were cov­ered with hun­dreds of fruit trees, both in­side and out.”

Over the in­ter­ven­ing cen­turies Gor­don Cas­tle suf­fered from bad win­ters and strug­gled with debt. Three quar­ters of the aris­to­cratic home were pulled down and all but one of the glasshouse­s in the walled gar­den col­lapsed; Wil­lie Robert­son, the head gar­dener, cared for the 259 fruit trees while the rest of the kitchen gar­den was left to grass be­tween 1944 and 2010.

In 2008 An­gus Gor­don-Len­nox, eighth­gen­er­a­tion Gre­nadier Guard-turned-in­vest­ment banker at Cazen­ove, in­her­ited the es­tate, which has grad­u­ally shrunk from 3,300 acres to 500.

The en­ter­pris­ing Gor­don-Len­nox and his wife Zara have rein­tro­duced the High­land Games and rent the cas­tle out for events and wed­dings. It sleeps 18 and ap­peals to keen fish­er­man with its frontage on the river Spey. Their most ar­du­ous un­der­tak­ing was the re­vival of the his­toric walled gar­den, which not only sup­plies the award-win­ning café with fruit and veg­eta­bles, but pro­vides in­gre­di­ents for an as­sem­bly line of Gor­don Cas­tle prod­ucts that are sold in­ter­na­tion­ally. Gor­don Cas­tle gin is shipped to six coun­tries and con­tains laven­der and mint from the walled gar­den.

“We are not big enough to com­pete with the poly­tun­nels of the east coast to sell fruit into the su­per­mar­kets, and we can’t rely solely on fish­ing or wed­dings to main­tain the house. But our Gor­don Cas­tle prod­ucts are scaleable, and we can make mil­lions of bot­tles of

An­gus and Zara Gor­don-Len­nox, main; the eight-acre walled gar­den in the snow, be­low

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