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Gardens and grounds

The gardens at Swarthmoor Hall are a sanctuary, where visitors can immerse themselves in natural beauty and tranquillity. Thanks to a thoughtful and sustainable blend of plant varieties and design elements, our gardens offer a multi-dimensional sensory experience.

Evolution of the gardens

Over the centuries our gardens have evolved significantly. These transformations were guided by the needs and preferences of the Hall’s residents. When Margaret Fell and her family lived here, the gardens and grounds would have been used to grow plants and herbs for medicines and cooking together with a variety of fruit and vegetables.

In 1912 Emma Clarke Abraham, a descendant of Margaret Fell, took up residence at Swarthmoor Hall and began restoring both the house and its gardens. The early 1900s saw the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement, which led to many gardens transitioning to a more structured look. This style may have influenced the garden design at Swarthmoor Hall as the movement is characterised by distinct areas and ‘rooms’.

Vibrant yet tranquil design

The gardens blend attractive aesthetics with timeless accents. Pathways lead visitors through themed sections, surrounded by abundant greenery, colourful flowers and calming features that create a feeling of balance and harmony. The gardens mirror the natural surroundings and the site’s architectural features.

An important goal of the gardens is to support wildlife and biodiversity. To achieve this, the gardens include a designated area with beehives.

At the rear of the more formal areas of the gardens there is a wildflower meadow. The meadow is a tranquil spot, where people can relax, breathe in the fresh air and admire the beauty of wild flowers. It’s an educational experience for both youngsters and adults, offering insights into biodiversity and the essential role of pollinators.

Ideal for young explorers

Our gardens also feature a woodland section and a small stone labyrinth. As well as being entertaining for our young visitors, these areas allow them to observe and learn about the variety of wildlife living there. After a day spent exploring our gardens, parents, caregivers and children can unwind with a refreshing drink and delicious cake in our Barn Café.

Explore the rich history, sustainable practices and vibrant beauty of Swarthmoor Hall’s gardens – a haven for nature enthusiasts, history lovers and families alike.

Flowers in meadow