Acorn Bank Garden

(See also Acorn Bank Watermill)

Acorn Bank house driveway by Graeme Dougal17th century Acorn Bank Garden's claim to fame is its collection of medicinal and culinary plants, the largest in northern England. More than 250 varieties are grown in a walled garden. Baneberry, blackroot, wild indigo, tansy, borage, and elacampane are among the varieties.

Acorn Bank House and Gardens by Graeme DougalAlso on the 2½ acre site are two orchards with rare and regional fruit trees that include pear, apple, quince, and medlar. The deciduous medlar tree, related to the rose family, produces a tart, acidic fruit that looks like a brown apple. In the spring the tree is covered in white and pink flowers. Picked after the first frost, the fruit is eaten after ripening or made into jam. Shakespeare refers, in Romeo and Juliet, II, 1, to the medlar tree:

“...Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars,...”

Acorn Bank gardens courtesy of Graeme DougalShrubs, roses, and herbaceous plants make up borders on the grounds and a sunken garden adds to the atmosphere. A giant sequoia, planted at the time of the tree's first introduction from America, graces the landscape.

The garden's name traces back to 1597 and comes from the ancient oak woods where a walk leads to Crowdundle Beck and Acorn Bank Mill on the Acorn Bank house and daffodils courtesy of Graeme Dougalproperty. In the spring more than 60 varieties of daffodils and narcissus and wood anemones enhance the beauty of these woods. A red sandstone manor house on the property (not open to the public) once served as a base for the Knights Templar and later the Knights Hospitallers.

Acorn Bank gates to house courtesy of Graeme DougalAcorn Bank Garden just north of Temple Sowerby
Six miles east of Penrith on the A66. Train station at Penrith.

Acorn Bank Garden
National Trust
Open: garden, watermill, shop, mid March-end Oct, Wed-Sun, 10am-5pm; first week March weekend, 10am-5pm; tea-room, first weekend March, weekend, 11am-4:30pm; mid March-end Oct, Wed-Sun, 11am-4.30pm; house not open to public.
Tel. 017683 61893
Website: Acorn Bank Garden

Note: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

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