Heydon Hall, Heydon
Mrs Benjamin Bulwer-Long
The approach to Heydon Hall lies through the estate village, in which nothing has been built since 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, passing the splendid Perpendicular church and on into the park. The 16th century brick house, which stands at the end of a long avenue running south across the park, gazes over an expansive lawn framed by trees. Inside the house, the hall has a fine 17th century fireplace and other rooms were remodelled in the 1740s by Matthew Brettingham the Elder, who also worked at Holkham. Inside the remains of a former conservatory, at the west end of the house, is a rose garden, whose box-hedged beds are echoed on the north side of the house. The formal gardens merge into woodland gardens and beyond lies the large walled kitchen garden, which is now still partly functional with an avenue of ancient apples trees, fruit cages and vegetable beds and partly ornamental with perennial beds which peak in a late summer burst of Dahlias.
Salle Park, Salle
Sir John White
Salle Park is a 1763 house in the Palladian tradition. The wings, one of which contains the Orangery, recently renovated and replanted with exotics, were added in 1910. A formal parterre planted with yew hedges and roses lies to the south of the house. An avenue of yew cones runs across the lawns between banks of Rhododendrons towards the sheltering belt of trees behind which lies the 1780s walled garden, which is the glory of Salle. Inside the garden, the south-facing wall still retains a row of glass houses, including a very productive vine house. A central box-hedged walk is planted with colour co-ordinated perennials. On either side lies a traditional kitchen garden with an astonishing array of organically-grown vegetables, fruit and cut-flowers triumphantly reminiscent of the 19th century under the enthusiastic direction of Salle’s head gardener, Tom Barwick.
Elsing Hall, Dereham
Patrick Lines Esq and Han Yang Yap Esq
Elsing Hall used to be known for the roses that Shirley Cargill grew so profusely. She was a hard act to follow, but over the last few years the garden has been given new life by Patrick Lines and Han Yap. A wide moat surrounds the Wisteria and rose-covered 15th century house. Generous, mainly perennial, borders separate the terrace outside the house from the lawn that stretches to the moat. From the densely planted Moat Walk and the new spiral mound, there are wonderful views across the water back to the house. To the west of the house, the walled garden, complete with a new greenhouse, slopes down to the medieval stew pond. The Gingko avenue can be glimpsed through a stone archway and, in contrast to the rest of the garden, the formal Osprey garden has a simple, but very effective, arrangement of beautifully clipped obelisks of yew.