The Gardens

 

The gardens of Abercamlais span several hectares on both sides of the river Usk.

A thriving kitchen garden once supplied the estate and extensive rose beds were a central feature of the gardens in the 19th Century.

The gardens contain several notable tree specimens including two from the redwood species; a Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum or giant sequoia) native to the US and a dawn redwood (Metasequoia) native to China.

Several bridges cross the river throughout the gardens, affording wonderful views down onto the Usk.

There is a large pond known as the ‘Otter Pond’ (although otters have not visited for many years) which is currently being cleared and re-lined.

Researching the history of the gardens is an ongoing project and the website will be constantly updated as we find out more.

“I have mentioned the roses at Abercamlais and they really were a feature of the place. In the summer when you had gone over the bridge, you found a heavy green door on a stone wall on your right, you opened this and on a sunny day you walked into a bath of scent and colour…

…There were climbers growing up apple trees and falling in cascades. It made the apple gathering very difficult and painful, but did Grandfather care? There were beds of Hybrid Teas and great bushes of Maiden’s Blush, and enormous pink Cabbage roses. Over the porch of the house grew a lovely white cluster rose ‘Felicite Perpetual’, and even my font had been decorated with it when I was brought down at the end of July to be baptized by him and to have a drop of champagne put on my lips, to Nanna’s consternation I am sure.’…

…In the conservatory opening out of the Abercamlais drawing room, he had a most lovely climbing nephitos, and its scent used to waft into the room, and with its long elegant white almost green buds, it was beautiful in the winter.”

Memoirs of Frances Mary Barbara Slater (nee Garnons Williams), 1889 – 1968.

“Garnons and his wife moved to Abercamlais in 1862 from a house on the edge of Brecon called St John’s Mount. They brought with them from St John’s Mount the conservatory plus the two camellias which still flower In profusion every year.”

The House Lecture, Mrs Susan Ballance.

Tucked away through a little gate towards the river is a dog grave that reads:

‘Jock

Faithful & True

(1575 – 1589)’

 

'Splendid Grade I mansion dating from 16th Century, altered extensively in early 18th Century with 19th Century additions, in extensive grounds beside the river Usk. Beautiful octagonal pigeon house, formerly a privy.' (2017)

Hudson's Historic Houses & Gardens is the most comprehensive guide to heritage properties in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Historic Houses Association (HHA) represents over 1,640 of the UK's privately and charitably owned historic houses, castles and gardens.

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