Broughton Castle

I was digging through my stash of scanned photos from my English gardens trip the other day and stumbled across some from Broughton Castle, which I wanted to share with those of you who might not have heard of it.

Broughton Castle is still the home of Lord and Lady Saye and Sele, who have furnished some of its 16th-century bedrooms with pieces of contemporary furniture. Their ancestors were Roundheads in England’s Civil War, but opposed the King’s execution – so their lands were returned to them when Charles II returned to the throne. Chances are, you have seen Broughton’s  Great Hall without realizing it – because it was used in filming the scene from the film “Shakespeare in Love” in which Viola de Lessops (Gwyneth Paltrow) dances with the young Shakespeare (in other words, it stands in for her family home – not too shabby).

This garden sticks in my mind, perhaps, because it was here it occurred to me for the first time that I might actually be interested in planting roses in my garden, something I  had previously dismissed as way too much trouble. But seeing the profusion of roses growing in borders,

Broughton Castle

Roses next to the entry to a walled garden at Broughton Castle.

Broughton Castle

Another part of the Long Border outside the walled garden

over walls, and in the Ladies’ Garden (see below), I started thinking more positively.

Broughton Castle, Ladies Garden, English gardens

The walled garden on the south side of Broughton Castle, known as the Ladies' Garden, was established in the 1880s on the site of the sixteenth century kitchen. The fleur de lys beds are planted with Rose 'Heritage' and Rose 'Gruss an Aachen'.

Lady Saye and Sele, who was actually grubbing around in the garden with nary a gardener in sight the day we visited, was sighing over some David Austin roses which she felt weren’t doing well. Someone had told her that because the existing roses were diseased, she would have to replace the soil before she could plant more roses. I quickly resolved that any roses I planted would get one, and only one, chance since soil replacement wasn’t something to which I wanted to devote precious gardening time.

Broughton Castle

The gardens at Broughton Castle were originally designed by the American designer Lanning Roper.

The borders outside the castle walls were really stunning. But it was the views from the castle’s Tower which took my breath away.

Broughton Castle

What a great job with mowing the lawn! Love those stripes.

Posted from Wayne, Pennsylvania, where I am taking part in the annual Master Garden Photography workshop this weekend with Roger Foley & Alan Detrick. I promise a longer post next week!

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11 Comments on “Broughton Castle”


  1. Love those stripes as well, I have seen lawn ‘art’ made by cutting the grass in designs. Not enough time for me to esperiment in that, bad enough just cutting the grass in the first place.
    Wish I had seen this garden when I was in England, so many gardens, not enough time…

    • Melissa Says:

      Deborah, I think straight mowing lines here were just the icing on the cake. Of course you do have a rooftop lookout from which to appreciate them at Kilbourne Grove, but I think you have enough to do with your time and no professional gardeners on staff, not the case at Broughton Castle.

  2. gardeningasylum Says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! You’ve got me thinking I really need a turret or two to set of my roses 🙂

    • Melissa Says:

      Cyndy, yes, a turret would be quite the thing, wouldn’t it? Haven’t seen but one of those in the American gardens I’ve visited (the Duemling garden on our fall Garden Conservancy tour has one, sigh). One can always dream!

  3. Sylvia (England) Says:

    This is one of those gardens that I haven’t got to yet! It has either been shut or the weather bad when we have stayed in the area. I do hope to get to see it one day. Lovely pictures. I have a love/hate relationship with roses. I have mainly David Austin roses and they haven’t been very good this year, when they have flowered it has rained! Next year …

    Best wishes Sylvia

    • Melissa Says:

      Hope you get to Broughton on a lovely spring or summer’s day next year! And I commiserate on roses. Although I did try a few when I came back from my trip they weren’t particularly successful; I grow some for my clients but have mixed results in our climate, where black spot is a real problem.

  4. Jean Says:

    So many gardens to see; so little time! I love the roses, Melissa, but that shot of the walled garden is just amazing.

  5. Chris Says:

    What a magnificent garden! Thanks so much for posting these pictures. It inspires me to keep on rose gardening!

  6. stephen gale Says:

    any trace of a rock garden? In a short book ” A Rage For Rock Gardening ” author Nicola Scholman mentions, ” In the late 1830’s an entire valley in Chamonix appeared at the end of Lady Broughton’s garden in Cheshire…”
    Stephen Gale, member, Landscape Chapter, Architectural Historians

    • Melissa Says:

      I certainly don’t remember seeing anything that looked like a rock garden when we were there. But the garden had been redesigned in the twentieth century so who knows?


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