In 1987 the garden just contained some vegetable plots and old fruit trees. But two of those involved in the acquisition of the site, John Hunter and Martin Wakelin, saw not a neglected kitchen garden but a reconstructed Tudor pleasure garden such as must once have existed in the time of the mansion built by the Smyth family. In 1996, this vision was realised to their design, with help on the planting from Sandra Nicholson of Writtle College. The garden is a faithful reconstruction of garden history, using painstaking research to achieve authenticity. Enclosed by its original Tudor brick wall, its centrepiece is a brick fountain with four spouts symbolising the rivers of paradise from which water trickles along a rill to a Tudor brick built fishpond. A wooden viewing platform provides a vantage point from which to survey the parterres and the rest of the garden. Planting is true to what we know of mediaeval and Tudor gardens and includes a knot garden with box hedging, a nosegay garden, arbour, medicinal plants and a vegetable garden. The garden was instantly recognised as a significant addition to those existing in the county, and to the small number of Tudor gardens to be found nationally.
The Tudor Walled Garden