English Heritage Gardens Ltd.
Garden design by artists, not computers  

Robinson's Gravetye Manor Restoration


During the dark short days of winter the famous Gravetye Manor Hotel and gardens closed its doors to customers for a major restoration project. English Heritage Gardens were awarded the garden restoration of this historic garden; once owned and designed by the world renowned Victorian garden writer William Robinson.

Much of William Robinson’s journals and published works were based upon ideas realised at his home at Gravetye. Sadly many of the major design features were lost through the passages of time with different owners and fashions. Now, however, a little research from the EHG team has identified areas of the garden that can be reinstated to their original design.

Before the reinstatement of the original garden could begin, a comprehensive irrigation system for the entire garden to provide water supply where needed for the team of seven gardeners who work at Gravetye throughout the year.

Great care was taken to ensure no root damage occurred during the trench digging to protect the treasured tree collection of the estate.

With the ground work complete EHG reinstated the York stone path in the formal garden with a new oak pergola. At some point during its recent history concrete slabs had been used sporadically in the stone paths and reclaimed York stone has replaced these ensuring the continuity of the original theme.

Gravetye has a beautiful oval stone walled kitchen garden. EHG’s metal worker has repaired and designed beautiful ‘onion’ themed gates to replace the inappropriate 1970s pair.

As with most houses first appearances are considered very important so EHG have used steel edging on the driveway for the lawns and borders, a new gravel tarmacadam driveway nicely defines the journey to the front of the hotel where hotel residents will be met by the Gravetye Manor staff. Settled into their new environment guests will then be enticed to wonder into the rest of the garden for the start of a wonderful holiday retreat.

The scope of the project is vast and will be undertaken over several years. This will also ensure that important decisions are not rushed and that the garden and its precious nature are not stressed.

The beautiful original glass houses have been carefully restored by Percy and the path network within the Kitchen Garden has been carefully reinstated using resin bonded gravel.