Had two visits to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. First time back in October 2018 during the autumn, when there was pumpkins around for Halloween. Second time more recently during July 2020 in the summer as they reopened. For that one you had to book your tickets online before you went. A walled garden split into the Upper and Lower Wilderness. Was also a maze here and a vegetable garden.

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An Autumn and Summer comparison at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens





Had two visits to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. First time back in October 2018 during the autumn, when there was pumpkins around for Halloween. Second time more recently during July 2020 in the summer as they reopened. For that one you had to book your tickets online before you went. A walled garden split into the Upper and Lower Wilderness. Was also a maze here and a vegetable garden.


CASTLE BROMWICH HALL GARDENS

Welcome to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. Located in Castle Bromwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. If approaching from Birmingham in a car or on the bus, you might pass through Hodge Hill. The gardens were originally developed here in the late 17th century. They were done in the Dutch style that was popular during the reign of William III. The Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust was formed in 1985. At the time the walled gardens were derelict, but in the years that followed the gardeners restored the garden to how it could of once been in the past. The gardens is only 5 miles from Birmingham City Centre.

Castle Bromwich Hall was built in the 16th century for Sir Edward Devereux, who was the first MP for Tamworth. In the late 1650s the hall and gardens was sold to Sir Orlando Bridgeman who bought it for his son Sir John Bridgeman I. The gardens were developed by 1700. John Bridgeman II took over from his father after his death in 1710. The last member of the family, Lady Ida Bridgeman lived in the hall until her death in 1936. The gardens were looked after by her while she was still alive.

The hall and gardens are in separate ownership. The hall is now a hotel, but can be viewed from the gardens, and it is possible to have guided tours of the hall. The Trust owns the gardens, while the Parkland by Birmingham City Council (it is protected from development).

The gardens feature an Orangery and directly opposite that down the Holly Walk is the Summer House. There is a pair of sphinxs on two corners of the wall. It is usually possible to do walks on the outside of the wall, where you can go past the Mirror Pond, orchard, Wildflower meadow and the Children's mud kitchen.

Within the Walled Garden is the Upper Wilderness (which is close to the Hall) and the Lower Wilderness (which has a Maze in the middle of it). And further north of that is a Vegetable Garden.

The gardens is near the M6 motorway and you can hear the passing traffic. Entrance to the gardens is off Chester Road. 

2018

A visit during October 2018 in the weeks leading up to Halloween. First up a look at the Upper Wilderness. This was the Formal Box Hedges.

Looking up Holly Walk towards the Summer House. At this end (behind me) was the Orangery.

A zoom in of the Summer House. That day the doors were closed so couldn't go into it.

The flower borders not far from the Lower Wilderness, although the North Orchard was to the left of here. In the distance was one of the pair of stone sphinxes.

A close up look at the wonderful flowers they had here. Yellows and reds. Even in the middle of the autumn!

Now gone outside of the Walled Garden. Saw a pond with algae in it.

Another view of the algae covered pond.

This bit around the tree was called Jutta's Wild Weaving.

A look at the autumnal trees with yellow leaves.

Over the footbridge to another pond with algae. This is the Children's Mud Kitchen area I think.

Back into the Walled Garden. A look down Holly Walk towards the Orangery. At the time there was lots of pumpkins inside of it. As well as potted plants.

Into the Maze with this Globe sculpture on a stone plinth.

In aother of the mazes "rooms" was these flowers and bushes. As well as the trellis holding up a plant.

The view of the outside of the Maze from the Lower Wilderness.

Over to the Upper Wilderness, the side of garden closest to Castle Bromwich Hall.

At the time it was possible to go into the part of the garden closest to the hall. There was greenhouses down here.

There was also this Hedged Garden that you could go into.

Back into the Walled Garden was the Melon Ground. At the time there was a lot of pumpkins around here. Behind on the left outside of the wall was a rather old tree.

Some pumpkins and yellow and orang flowers around some spooky plants.

Outside of the Visitor Centre and shop was this collection of pumpkins. Probably for sale at the time.

2020

A July 2020 visit. Checking their website I noticed that you could book tickets, now that the gardens are open again. Booked the tickets for the same day. There is now a shop in the Orangery where you can buy a drink and a snack and sit at the tables and chairs on Holly Walk. View from the main gates entrance into the Walled Garden of the Upper Wilderness. There is a one way system in and out.

More green and colourful flowers in the Summer down the Boxed Hedges in the Upper Wilderness.

I thought this tent on the Archery Green was new. But I'd previous seen it there on the last visit. Families can have picnics here, or do some fun activities, while staying dry. The Summer House was seen to the right.

A look up the hedges in the Lower Wilderness. Benches here haven't been taped over, so you can still sit down on them.

This time around, you couldn't go through the doors to the area behind the Walled Garden, as a large tree had dropped a branch overnight and it was not safe to enter. Instead saw the Mirror Pond for the second time through the bars in the Walled Garden.

The long green that goes up from the Mirror Pond towards Castle Bromwich Hall. If you turn around you can see 103 Colmore Row in the distance (better views from the top of the hill). Almost like a co-incidence that they line up like that.

Various flower beds in the Vegetable Garden. There is a small greenhouse in the distance, and the other stone sphinx is up there as well.

Saw this A frame of wooden sticks over this part of the Vegetable Gaden. Around those orange flowers.

The lawn in the Upper Wilderness towards the main entrance of the gardens.

Some more boxed hedges in the north west corner of the Upper Wilderness, towards the Summer House.

View zoomed in from the Upper Wilderness to the main entrance gate. Behind is the portacabins that is the offices of the gardens. Also nearby was plant sales.

Another part of the Upper Wilderness, around this curved lawn path.

Found this view of Castle Bromwich Hall from the Upper Wilderness. The closest you can get to the hall is the fence and wall in the garden to have a look at it.

The back of the boxed hedges in the Upper Wilderness close to the main entrance and the Melon Ground. There was a pair of pyramid structures at the middle of both of the flower beds.

A wonderful summery view from the garden towards the Orangery. Now used as a shop / cafe. But only one person / family can go into it at a time during the pandemic, with social distancing regulations. They have hand sanitiser outside.

One more walk around the garden before we got a drink from the Orangery. The hedges in the Lower Wilderness, towards that bench.

The central area of the Lower Wilderness is in a circle around those stones. On a closer look at the stones I could see a face on one of them.

Towards the Maze from the Lower Wilderness. This time didn't go into the maze (forgot about it). That and we went on the routes around it from the outside,

After exiting via the Melon Ground (and spraying some hand sanitiser onto my hands), saw some lavender and more tables and chairs that you could sit on to have your coffee or tea (bought from the Orangery). Behind was an old style table and chairs where you could have your picture taken, and share with Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens on social media.

Turned around to the door from the Melon Ground. Lavender either side of the path. Plus that table and chairs for the picture was on the left of here. This is one way to exit the gardens.

If you would want to make your own visit to the gardens, the link is at the top of the post (click on The Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust). They are now open Wednesday to Sunday every week. Tickets were around £5 each.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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