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Elvaston Castle Gardens & Park

Derbyshire County Council

The mid-19th century Gardens and Park at Elvaston Castle, near Derby, were the creation of the gardener William Barron for the Earl of Harrington and his wife, the actress Maria Foote. The elaborate winter garden contained a series of dramatic ‘stage sets’, the most distinctive features of which were enormous topiary utilising a variety of yew cultivars. Surrounding an ornamental lake Barron created fantastical rockwork windows, grottos and ruins. Perhaps the most impressive of his technical achievements was the successful transplantation of many enormous, mature trees. Some of these original transplants and the diverse evergreen collection of which they formed a part can still be seen in the gardens, now part of the first designated Country Park. It has since become a much-loved park and home to a wide range of wildlife, including birds and several species of bat. Sadly, however, there has been a marked and ongoing decline in the condition of the gardens, castle, garden buildings and elements of the park.

Erika has contributed to several reports and conservation management plans at Elvaston (as part of Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates), including the Castle & Courtyard Buildings Conservation Plan (2003), Estate Conservation Plan (2004), Gardens and Park Conservation Management Plan (2006) and an update of the condition and rockwork surveys (2009).

The Elvaston Castle Gardens and Park are Grade II* on the English Heritage Register of historic parks and gardens of special interestFor more information on visiting Elvaston Castle click here.