The Gardens at the Old Hall
The gardens at The Old Hall are as varied and interesting as the house itself and incorporate many features both original and recreated. This section of the website will be expanded and modified in much the same way the gardens themselves are being expanded and modified. For now here is a snap shot...
The moat itself almost certainly predates the house itself and was probably existent in Roman or even bronze age times. It boasts three islands with bridges to access them from the mainland. Islands such as these were made fashionable in renaissance England and would have boasted one or more small boats with which one could enjoy each other's company. Today we have a traditional English punt for guests to still enjoy the water.
The Tudor Vegetable Garden
The Tudor vegetable garden was laid down by Brigitte and Tom in early March 2020, not least as a project to stave off the supply issues from the corona virus pandemic. It is laid out in the traditional Tudor manner, in four quadrants with commensurate crop rotation to keep the ground fertile. The garden is surround with traditional wattle fencing and chestnut gates to keep the wind and hungry wildlife out. The planting of the garden is more accurately "an education" garden in that, whilst all the plants are period correct, such as salsify and skirret, not all would have been prevalent in a Norfolk Tudor garden of any given year.
The John Evelyn Arboretum
The John Evelyn arboretum was originally laid down by Dr. and Mrs Booth, the former owners of Old Hall, in 2001. It is intended that it commemorate the work of John Evelyn who, in 1662 gave a lecture on the state of English forestatio to the newly formed Royal Society. Two years later in 1664 this lecture was written up as a book, "Sylva or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber in His Majesty's Dominions." Even today it is held to be one of the most influential texts on forestry. The arboretum hosts a large variety of trees, but all date to being recorded in Sylva to the 17th Century or earlier.
Brigitte's orchard is in two parts. The first is the orchard that was there when we moved in in 2019. It contains mature fruit trees most having been planted in the last 100 years. The second part has been laid down by Brigitte and Tom and comprises over 90 varieties of fruit tree, apple, pear, cherry, medlar and quince, all being varieties known to be in England before 1700. As the trees mature and bear fruit we will offer tasting sessions as the different varieties are ready.
Work in progress
Over and above these gardens there are many more - both garden features and distinct gardens in their own right. These include feature such as authentic early Tudor, late Tudor (Elizabethan) and Stuart knot gardens. A John Evelyn commemorative formal garden. A Tudor labyrinth. Tudor garden mound. Secluded river swimming garden. Garden woodland walk incorporating living willow tunnels...
More details to follow as the information is collated.