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The Gardens

Manor house and garden

When the Rhymney Valley Council bought Llancaiach Fawr Manor, a thorough scientific survey of the garden was carried out in order to discover whether any evidence of the design of the original garden still remained.

As the area had become a working farm over the years, any visible signs had long since disappeared but fortunately, beneath the ground there remained sufficient outlines and pollen grains to give us some idea of how parts of the garden may have looked and what was planted there. The Council therefore originally planted the garden according to this evidence.

However, it was later decided to add certain elements that might have been in any sixteenth or seventeenth century garden such as the Pond, Shady Walk and Knot garden etc. Thanks to the efforts of the “Friends of Llancaiach”, who provided the funds and some physical help alongside our staff, these areas were soon developed, along with the Orchard, Physic, Privy and Vegetable gardens, whilst still retaining the original layout in the Formal area at the front of the Manor.

When the “Cottages” were built as an education facility, outside the enclosed “seventeenth century” area, it was thought that it would be a good idea to have gardens at the rear of these buildings for the use of schools in order to compliment the Manor gardens, as a teaching aid. Not only this, but with a greater area for growing vegetables, we are now able to supply our restaurant with fresh produce.

As much as possible we try to grow the sort of plants that would have been grown in a garden of the period of the Manor. The orchard contains varieties of apples that are now rarely found such as “ Decio”, “Paradise”, and “Catshead” among others. Plants are grown in the Physic garden that would have been used for cures, household use and perfumes etc.

Whilst our gardens are continually developing, we hope that they retain some of the charm of the early gardens and that our visitors might gain a hint of what might have been enjoyed by earlier generations who took such great pleasure and made such good use of this pleasant space.