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Gardens

Hoveton Hall’s beautiful gardens as you see them today are made up of several areas, all with their own unique characteristics.
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Spider Garden

This walled garden has been known as the ‘Spider Garden’ ever since the ornamental wrought iron Spider’s Web gate was made in 1936 by Eric Stevenson of Wroxham. At the centre of the garden is a circular flint spider web edged with box created in 1998 by landscape gardener James Smith.

The Old Kitchen Garden

Originally a Victorian Kitchen Garden, this one acre walled garden has been redeveloped over the years to include lawns and herbaceous borders whilst still producing fruit for the Hall. The Knot Garden was planted in 1998, separated from the rest of the garden by a yew hedge with a central laburnum arch.

The Glass House

It is one of only three or four glasshouses constructed with iron still surviving in England. It has been recently restored with the help of generous grants from English Heritage and the Country Houses Foundation. It was built in the first half of the 19th century and demonstrates the early use of iron in garden buildings. The plants in and around it are those which would have been selected at the time it was originally built.

The Woodland Walk

Ashmanhaugh Wood offers an opportunity to explore amongst a fine collection of mature Rhododendrons and Azaleas which thrive beneath a canopy of Silver Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Oak and Scots Pine. The elusive White Admiral butterfly breeds here as well as Purple Hairstreak and Speckled Wood. Around 100 species of birds are seen on the estate each year.

The Magnolia Garden and Lake

This area of the garden is dominated by a fine Magnolia Soulangeana in the central bed, a large spreading shrub bearing fragrant goblet-shaped blooms in spring. The lake, which would have been dug by hand in the 18th century, offers a particularly tranquil walk with Rhododendrons and huge Weeping Willows providing splendid reflective colours on sunny days. Leading from this walk are the more adventurous woodland paths across bridges and dykes to the Water Garden.

The Ice Well

In the days before mechanical refrigeration many estates had an ice well. In Britain the practice of storing ice in these specially constructed chambers started in the 17th century, with the earliest known example built for James I in 1619. Ice wells were often sited under trees and some way from the house and the location would be chosen so the chamber remained above the surrounding water table. Because they were often tucked away and vegetation encouraged to grow over them, their presence isn't always obvious, but over 2500 ice wells still exist in Britain today. The ice well at Hoveton Hall was built during the 18th century and is a Grade II Listed Monument.

The Kidney Lake

The Kidney Lake was excavated by hand in the 1920s as an additional feature in the extended Water Gardens. It depends for its water on natural drainage from the surrounding land and as a result the level fluctuates according to the weather. The island is often used by nesting waterfowl and the lake provides a safe nursery for ducklings in spring. It is also a popular spawning ground for frogs and toads. Kingfisher and Grey Heron sometimes visit the lake to feed, as do small waders.

The Arboretum

During 2004, new trees were added to this area of parkland and its existing collection of more than 200 specimen trees. Species here have been especially selected to provide interest throughout the year. Blossoming in the spring are Japanese Malus varieties, Whitebeam Sorbus and varieties of Prunus. These are followed by varieties of dogwoods in early summer, then the Tulip-tree, with the Indian Bean Tree Pride of India Koelreuteria Paniculata flowering in late summer.

Opening Times

The gardens are open from 10.30am - 5pm from Easter (Good Friday) to the end of September every day except Saturdays. The gardens will also be open for special events and for private hire for special occasions or pre-arranged group visits. Please contact us for more details.

Garden Admission

Adults - £7.50
Children 4-16 - £4
Children under 4 - free
Over 60 - £6.50
Family day ticket - £20 (2 adults and 2 children)
Wheelchair users/carers - £6 each

Season tickets are also available this year:
Single - £25, Couple - £45, Family (2 adults and 2 children) - £60

Sorry, only assistance dogs are allowed into the gardens except on special event days.

Directions

Find us just north of Wroxham off the A1151,  follow the brown tourist signs.

Hoveton Hall Gardens, Hoveton Hall Estate, Hoveton Norwich, Norfolk NR12 8RJ