US President Franklin D Roosevelt described these gardens as ‘A dream of Nirvana… almost too good to be true.’ He spent part of his honeymoon here with his bride, Eleanor.
The gardens are at least 400 years old. They cover 12 acres of a beautiful valley just off the A1. Home to the Cholmeley family for 14 generations, the gardens were abandoned in 1951 when Easton Hall was pulled down. The revival of these gardens has been ongoing since late 2001.
There had been a house on this site since at least 1592 when Sir Henry Cholmeley (1562-1620) came to live in Lincolnshire on the death of his Uncle, Robert Cholmeley, in 1590. He settled first in Burton-le-Coggles and bought the Manor of Easton two years later from Gilbert Bury. Sir Henry built his house on a site overlooking the River Witham and this is believed to have survived until the beginning of the 19th Century.
In 1805 the house was altered and enlarged by Sir Montague Cholmeley, first baronet (1772-1831). He took down the West Wing, which was reputed to be the oldest part of the Hall, and rebuilt it, together with the centre part of the house.
Much of this house was replaced by early Victorian additions by another Sir Montague, second baronet (1802-1874) and this is the house that can be seen in the photographs on this page. The Hall was described in 1872 as large and handsome, with large and elegantly furnished apartments, containing many valuable paintings and other works of art. The entrance hall was galleried and hung with suits of armour.
Easton Hall was requisitioned at the start of the Second World War. It became home to units of the Royal Artillery and and of the 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (of Arnhem fame) for four years, in which time it suffered considerable damage both to the fabric of the building and to the remaining contents, including many family records.
Home to the Cholmeley family for nearly 400 years, in 1951 the Hall was demolished, never having been lived in as a family home again. The family still own the estate and have been the driving force behind the gardens revival. The remains that you can see today inlcude parts of the Formal Gardens, the Gatehouse (designed by Anthony Salvin) and the Stableyard.
The history of the gardens and its revival are all clearly explained on boards throughout the garden and in the history room.The history leaflet we provide is full of statistics for visitors who like to know how long the yew tunnel is, the number of roses or even how many yards of hedge have been replanted.
Click on the images below to enlarge them.