Chance to see tower’s stunning gardens

Bichfield Towers stunning gardens will be opened to the public on Sunday.
Bichfield Towers stunning gardens will be opened to the public on Sunday.

The beautiful outdoor features at a hidden gem in Northumberland will be open to the public on Sunday afternoon.

Bichfield Tower, near Belsay, comprises a Grade I listed pele tower, manor house and six acres of landscaped gardens.

The grounds include a stunning water feature with waterfalls, a fountain and a tree-lined trout lake.

There are also plenty of eye-catching floral displays and majestic woods with specimen trees.

The original tower was built in the 12th century to defend against the Picts from the north, with a manor house added in the 1600s.

In the 20th century the East Wing was added as servants’ quarters. However, much of the house was left empty in the 1900s.

It was completely modernised and refurbished in the 1990s, and current owners Lesley and Stewart Manners have improved the property further.

In addition, there are three cottages within the grounds that are available to let.

Mrs Manners said: “Sunday is an opportunity for people living nearby and across the North East to visit a hidden gem not open to the public the rest of the year.

“We were asked to do this by popular demand and so we’re preparing for a busy day.

“The features also include two walled gardens – one white and scented and the other exotic planted in firework colours.

“A kitchen garden is currently bursting with edible flowers, colourful vegetables and a cutting garden.

“There is a pear orchard meadow and the features added this year include two new prairie borders down by the lake and two very lovely delphinium borders.

“There are lovely terraces to sit out on and home-made teas and delicious cakes will be on offer.

“A range of interesting plants will be available to purchase and our multi-talented gardener Maxine Eaton will be giving talks on prairie planting.”

Bichfield Tower now has 11 bedrooms, seven en-suite, and it can sleep 22 people.

The gardens will be open from 1pm to 4pm.

Admission is £5 – this includes tea, coffee or a soft drink. It will be free for children and there is a concession for students.

For more information about the parts of the grounds that will be open to the public, contact Mr and Mrs Manners via email – lesleymanners@gmail.com