Historic Houses Announces Garden of the Year Award 2022 Winners
Wentworth Woodhouse, in South Yorkshire, wins the 2022 Historic Houses Garden of the Year Award, sponsored by Christie’s, in a public vote.
Votes were cast between April and September to give Wentworth Woodhouse the title, triumphing over seven other worthy contenders for the precious crown of 2022 Garden of the Year.
Upton Wold, the elegant garden set in a beautifully hidden Cotswold landscape, is the Judges’ Choice this year, with its herbaceous broders, pond garden and fountains particularly impressing the judges. Despite being hard hit by drought in 2022, the garden is already bouncing back and will reopen to the public in 2023.
This prestigious national award, presented annually since 1984, is designed to recognise the importance of some of the country’s most spectacular gardens with outstanding horticultural and public appeal. The award is voted for by members of the public who judge the gardens based on a variety of factors that contribute to their enjoyment. The announcement was made at the Historic Houses National AGM in London on Tuesday 15 November 2022.
Under the ownership of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust since 2017, the 82-acre private gardens at the Grade I-listed stately home in Rotherham have become multi-tasking, all-embracing spaces beloved by the public. In 2020 they were fully opened for the first time, offering locals tranquil and beautiful spaces in the pandemic. They remain open five days a week and are a haven, a natural playground, the scene of cultural events, and places of learning for people of all abilities.
A key feature of the gardens is accessibility. In 2021, historic garden paths were rediscovered and renovated, enabling all ages and abilities to enjoy the varied landscape, and two book-in-advance garden cabins were bought to provide homes-from-home for day visitors, especially those with mobility issues or special needs.
Ben Cowell, Director General of Historic Houses, said:
“The rescue of the house at Wentworth Woodhouse is one of the most significant heritage achievements of recent years. The work the team has done achieved with the gardens is also nothing short of spectacular, and deserves just as much attention. We are thrilled to be able to recognise that work with this award, which is testament to the strong support Wentworth Woodhouse has from its local community.”
Orlando Rock, Chairman, Christie’s UK, said: “We are delighted to recognise the important achievements of Wentworth Woodhouse, the 2022 winners of the annual Garden of the Year Award, presented by Historic Houses and sponsored by Christie’s. Under the stewardship of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, the team of staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to achieve their ambitious plans to transform the 82-acres of private gardens into a tranquil, relaxing, accessible public space to be enjoyed by visitors to the area, alongside serving as an important cultural hub for the local community.”
Scott Jamieson, Head Gardener at Wentworth Woodhouse, said: “We’re so glad that the hard work we’ve put in over the past few years has been recognised by Historic Houses. You can imagine how difficult it is to maintain and preserve 82 acres of gardens at such a popular and frequently visited place like Wentworth Woodhouse. I know that we definitely couldn’t achieve what we do without our amazing team of volunteers who work tirelessly, come rain or shine, to ensure high standards are met. We have the best team we could wish for and this award is their award!”
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