Why save the Garden?
Many Nantwich residents are unaware that there is an Elizabethan or early Stuart walled garden close to the town centre, currently owned by property developers who are intending to build houses on the site. Although the walled garden site has been owned by developers for around fifteen years, so far no building has started. The Nantwich Walled Garden Society (NWGS) believes there’s still an opportunity to save and restore the garden and walls.
It’s a piece of Nantwich’s history
The garden consists of about half an acre of land surrounded by a 16th or early 17th Century wall. The garden was part of the site of Townsend House, which, along with the wall, was built in the 1580s by the Wilbraham family.
It would be a memorial to John Gerard
John Gerard was a celebrated herbalist who was born in Nantwich in 1545. He is famous because he authored The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, a very early book on plants which provided detailed descriptions of their characteristics and beneficial properties. Our plan would be for the restored walled garden to commemorate his contributions to botany and herbs, and his connections with Nantwich.
It would be a unique tourist attraction for the town
Nantwich is a town with many attractive features which make it a lovely place to live and visit. If the garden could be restored, it would be a unique attraction as there is nothing similar in Nantwich open to the public. Although there are many delightful walled gardens around the country, there are very few which are in such close proximity to a town centre, making it easy to reach by public transport.
It would be a community project and educational asset
As well as a historical site, the Nantwich Walled Garden Society’s intention is to turn the Walled Garden into a living, communal garden and educational facility for the benefit of the whole community, involving local schools, colleges, community groups and members of the public in its restoration and maintenance.
It’s listed by English Heritage
The walls are Grade II listed (except the missing section of the west wall). In early 2015 English Heritage confirmed the listing and amended and amplified the designation due to the garden’s historical and architectural interest, early date of construction and the materials used. It’s also located within the Welsh Row Conservation area