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Bradenham Hall Gardens and Arboretum

Published date: June 2020

Bradenham Hall Gardens and Arboretum

This early Georgian house located 8 miles east of Swaffham and 5 miles south west of Dereham stands in an elevated position and the gardens are open to the public for group visits by prior arrangement. The house itself is a private residence and never open to the public.

The gardens and arboretum cover some 27 acres and surround the beautiful red brick Georgian property. Built around 1740 by a Scottish solicitor, Thomas Smyth, Bradenham Hall has for long periods been tenanted rather than lived in by the owners and reputedly amongst these tenants was Lady Hamilton, who is said to have entertained Lord Nelson as a guest.

In 1951 Dick and Jane Allhusen bought the property, together with 1,500 acres of the surrounding land and woods. During the 1940’s Bradenham Hall was occupied by various army units, who left their legacy of heaps of empty tins, thousands of broken glass medicine bottles and several dozen concrete Nissen hut foundations. Over the years much work and renovation has been undertaken by Dick and Jane Allhusen, including removing the whole roof and under-pinning every outside wall. The gardens were overgrown and around 200 wasp and several hornet nests had to be dealt with during their first summer at the property.

Work on the arboretum began in 1955 and many years of hard work and planning have gone into this and the rest of the gardens at Bradenham Hall. Chris and Panda Allhusen moved into Bradenham Hall in 2000 and renovated the Hall completely over a six-year period. 

Today Bradenham Hall Gardens and arboretum accepts group visits only, by prior appointment and includes a guided tour of the gardens, tea, coffee and home-made cakes. The gardens are divided up by walls and yew hedges into stunning herbaceous borders, shrub borders, vegetable and fruit gardens and have been planted to offer colour and interest all year round.

Garden labels, the same used by Bradenham Hall for over 45 years can be ordered from their website. Engraved to the highest standard, using their own computerised engraving machine, you can now order your own labels for use in your own gardens that have been formulated to withstand the elements.

For more details about Bradenham Hall Gardens and Arboretum, including group visit information and how to make a garden label order, please visit their website.

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