Bee boles

The south wall contains three rare ‘bee boles’ which have survived completely intact. A bee bole is a cavity or alcove in a wall designed to hold a ‘skep’, a straw or wicker beehive which is placed inside the bee bole where it is protected from the wind and rain.

One of the three bee boles

Bee bole dimensions

Historic bee boles are recorded in the Bee Boles Register:

The three Nantwich bee boles are recorded here:

Beekeeping was very important in the early 17th century when the walled garden was first constructed. The bees were needed to pollinate the plants and the honey they produced would have been used for a variety of purposes, such as baking, making medicines and brewing mead (an alcoholic honey wine). Beeswax was also highly sought after to make candles for use in the home and in church.