The grounds of Beeleigh Abbey include three acres of spacious and peaceful gardens in an historic rural setting, beautifully extended and revived in the last few years. Mature trees surround a variety of planting and water features: woodland walks under-planted with bulbs leading to the tidal River Chelmer, cottage & bog gardens, an extensive formal rose garden filled with over 300 modern english roses, kitchen & soft fruit gardens, orchard, wild flower meadow, wisteria walk, and stunning 85 metre long double mixed borders. Specimen trees include Magnolia,Tulip and Indian Bean. The extensive lawn contains the most recent project with the scenic backdrop of of the remains of a 12th century abbey incorporated into a mainly 17th century private residence.
Please note the house is not open to garden visitors.
Garden Open Days 2017
Open 10.30 am to 4.30 pm
Last admission 3.30 pm
The gardens are open on the following Fridays in 2017
Children aged 5-16 £2.50
Children under 5 free
There is free parking, and a marquee offering refreshments for sale beside the main lawn. Plants, other produce and various printed stationery can be purchased at the entrance.
Garden design and history
The grounds first recorded occupation was in 1180 by Premonstratensian canons. After various subsequent owners including several generations of the Francke family, the grounds reverted to farming and market gardening in the 18th and 19th centuries. The current layout nearest the house is probably by Basil Ionides and Wykeham Chancellor in the early 20th century.
More recently different generations of the Foyle family have extended the planted areas and added features such as a statue of Beeleigh Abbey's founder. The last few years in particular, since the purchase in 2000 by Christopher and Catherine Foyle, have seen considerable improvements with further projects in hand.
What to see in season
The three acres of garden are surrounded by mature trees which on the northern boundary give way to a tidal stretch of the River Chelmer. Within this area, a range of different individual gardens and water features can be found.
April starts the season with primroses, daffodils and tulips, together with camellias, magnolias and fruit blossom. A further 3,000 bulbs were planted in autumn 2016
May has spring bedding, and bulbs displayed in the mixed borders, along with magnolias and rhododendrons. Enjoy the bluebells that lead down to the river, and then later in the month the wisteria arches that divide the soft fruit garden from the rose garden.
In June roses take centre stage now totalling around 600, from the formal rose garden & hybrid tea bed to many shrub, climbing & rambling roses.
In Julythe cottage, bog gardens and meadow are at their best, with the kitchen and soft fruit gardens full of produce.
In August summer bedding displays are at their peak. The extensive mixed borders are now full of colour with many different perennials & shrubs.
September sees the roses put on another great display. Harvest time in the kitchen garden & orchard.
Directions to the Abbey: leaving Maldon via London Road, take first right after Cemetery into Abbey Turning. Post code CM9 6LL
There is level access to most of the garden, with gravel paths and some gentle slopes. One of the toilets can be accessed by wheelchair.
Groups of potential visitors are most welcome but should first contact
Call 07506 867122 for advise on catering and transport, especially as the narrow approach road is unsuitable for some types of coaches
Children must be supervised at all times because of potential hazards such as unfenced deep water.
Assistance dogs only please.
The new main lawn project is now complete
The objective to this project was to divide up the large main lawn and to add more pathways to connect existing areas. To add a focal point to the walkways a 3 tiered water feature & pool was created. To edge the long pathway a low yew hedge & 12 large standard yews were planted. The other pathway is edged with over 140 lavender (Munsted) & 12 standard roses (Winchester Cathedral).
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Christopher Foyle has fulfilled a long term personal ambition to produce a book about his home in Maldon. It gives the detailed history of the place, its previous owners including his own family, and a description of the buildings and their gardens. Some 98 pages long it is beautifully illustrated throughout and easy to read.