The five-acre, octagonal Luton Hoo Walled Garden was designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown for John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, soon after he acquired the Estate in 1763. Former Prime Minister and an unofficial director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, his garden at Luton Hoo Estate contributed to his reputation as a noted botanist and horticulturalist.
Successive owners of the Estate adapted the garden to match the changing fashions in gardens over the years. Numerous heated glasshouses were built by the Leigh family in the last quarter of the 19th century for the production of fruit and flowers, a few which still survive today. The largest of the surviving glasshouses, built by the firm of Mackenzie and Moncur for Sir Julius and Lady Wernher circa 1911, is evidence of the extravagance of the Edwardian period.
The garden continued to be productive well into the 20th century, only to fall into decline from the 1980s onwards. Now the focus of a fascinating project largely carried out by an enthusiastic team of volunteers, the garden will be revived and its structures repaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
For the 2017 season, the Walled Garden will be OPEN to the public every Wednesday 10.30am-4pm, between 3rd May and 27th September inclusive. Individuals are welcome to visit at a cost of £5 per person. Free tours of the Walled Garden will be available at various times throughout the day. A tour of the Victorian Farm Buildings will also be available at an additional cost of £3. Refreshments, fruit, vegetables, plants and honey will be available for purchase.
The publication, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, 1713-92 HIS BOTANICAL AND HORTICULTURAL INTERESTS AND LEGACY, is available to purchase at open days, or can be ordered via phone or email at a cost of £7.99 plus postage.