The 19th century Victorian kitchen garden was purchased and saved from dereliction in 1991.
The original glass houses (with an ingenious self sufficient rain water irrigation system) were re-built, the gravel footpaths reinstated and the planting beds brought back to life. Today, the garden once again supplies the Manor’s kitchen with an abundance of fresh produce virtually all year round. Once again, that magical relationship between kitchen gardener and chef has returned and is now at the heart of everything that happens in the Manor’s kitchens.
During the very same renovation, the ancient “crypt” was discovered. Little is known about its origins, but historians believe that the spiral staircase was built in the early 16th century. It is thought that this may have been the crypt of the long lost Chapel of St Thomas. Converted into a boiler room during Victorian times, the vaulted underground chamber is today used as a smoke house for the kitchen’s own production of smoked fish and meats.
Guests and visitors are encouraged to visit the garden where more often than not, a member of the gardening team will be on hand to offer a tour.
The kitchen gardener and head chef work year round to maximise the potential of the garden.
The extensive glass houses and potting shed enable certain produce to be grown throughout the winter and during the summer they become the perfect conditions for growing the more exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs.
The season starts with a healthy crop of Jersey Royals and finishes with an abundance of kale, winter cabbages and Jerusalem artichokes. In between, is a very carefully programmed production of speciality salads, baby vegetables and numerous fruits and berries.
A recent contribution is the all year production of numerous micro herbs, miniature cresses and baby herbs.