RHS BRIDGEWATER (WORSLEY, UK)
The fifth garden in the RHS portfolio, Bridgewater opened in the summer of 2021. It has been developed as a modern garden, yet within the envelope of the 62 hectares historic site of Worsley New Hall. The gothic style mansion was demolished in the 1940s and the gardens, which once incorporated terraces, lakes, statuary and a grotto were neglected.
Tom Stuart-Smith was the landscape architect for the masterplan and the detailed gardens. The first phase included the welcome building, a new lake and the regeneration of the kitchen gardens, walls and structures.
There is a strong emphasis on community involvement and education with plans to create a School of Horticulture. There are community gardening projects and links to social services and hospitals.
The main section, Weston Walled Garden, consists of an inner walled garden surrounded by a series of connecting gardens that are enclosed by a lower-level outer wall. The inner walled garden is divided by a central wall into the Paradise Garden and the Kitchen Garden.
Within the outer wall is a series of gardens dedicated to serving the local community. The Orchard Gardens, which incorporate The Orchard and Bee and Butterfly Garden, curve around the Gothic architecture of Garden Cottage.
The project has created 140 jobs in the garden and a further 180 local jobs. There is an initial direct investment of £ 30 million by 2023.
Royal Horticultural Society; Tom Stuart-Smith
Photo: Chris Gorman