Private gardens of Grade I listed tower open to public for one day

Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman
Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

The private gardens of Bichfield Tower will be open to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme.

The estate, near Belsay, will be opening its gates on Sunday, June 15.

The white garden at Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

The white garden at Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Bichfield is a Grade I medieval pele tower. Records date back to 1502. It has been added to over the centuries and owners include Lord Grey from Howick hall, the Pumphreys, and the Manners, who have lived at Bichfield for six years.

Bichfield has a six-acre garden with two walled gardens, one white and the other full of vibrant colours.

Bichfield is designed and maintained by Maxine Eaton, a trained RHS gardener, who gardened at Whalton Manor with Penny Norton prior to working at Bichfield.

NGS county team organiser Emma O’Neil is a WRAGS apprentice. This provides training for those people looking for a career change. Only two gardens in Northumberland offer this.

Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Maxine said: “We are all ready for the opening, despite the recent visit by Storm Hector. I arrived to an apocalyptic scene afterwards. After a small cry in the potting shed it was out with the tools for Operation Clean-up.”

This year the 6th Morpeth Cubs and Scouts are serving afternoon tea and directing people.

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

Admission is £5, children free. See www.ngs.org.uk for more information.

The exotic garden at Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

The exotic garden at Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Bichfield Tower Gardens.' Picture by Jane Coltman