Yorkshire’s Newby Hall is officially the nation’s favourite country house garden after scooping nearly a third of the votes in the first-ever public online poll for the Historic Houses Garden of the Year.
Newby’s magnificent 40 acres of gardens and woodland triumphed against seven other leading gardens for the 2019 title in a head-to-head contest, sponsored by Christies.
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The Historic Houses Garden of the Year award was redesigned and relaunched this year, featuring a shortlist for the first time since its creation in 1984.
Previous winners were encouraged to participate – Newby Hall won in 1986 and so also becomes the first garden to win the title twice.
Newby’s much-loved gardens, owned by Richard and Lucinda Compton, are visited by around 140,000 people every year and often feature on film and TV – thinkPeaky Blinders, Victoria, Gentleman Jack and the ABC Murders.
They are located at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales and are filled with rare and beautiful plants and shrubs in 14 stunning garden ‘rooms’, as well as boasting one of the longest double herbaceous borders in the UK, two heritage orchards and acres of woodland.
The gardening team has six full-time gardeners and a handful of volunteers. They care for the 25 acres of formal gardens and a further 15 acres of woodland and orchard, plus a national collection of Cornus.
Lucinda Compton said: 'We are over the moon to win theHistoric Houses Garden of the Year award, particularly as the votes were cast by members of the public. To be the first garden to have won it twice makes it even more special. Our team of gardeners should feel very proud as they work tirelessly in all weathers to keep Newby always looking first class.'
Ben Cowell, Director General at Historic Houses, said: 'Newby Hall is one of Yorkshire’s most popular visitor attractions, and is now officially the nation’s favourite garden! Historic Houses places tend to remain lived-in, family homes, which means that they are able to evolve and adapt over time.
'We should not be surprised that Newby has become the first garden to win this prestigious award twice – the changes introduced by owners Richard and Lucinda Compton have made Newby one of the country’s finest pleasure grounds.'
Already a star of film and screen productions, Newby Hall will step further into the spotlight next year when the popular three-day Harrogate Autumn Flower Show permanently moves site to its grounds.
Built in the 1690s under the guidance of Christopher Wren, Newby Hall is a William and Mary House located between Ripon and Boroughbridge. The house and gardens are open to the public from April to September, and the venue boasts a restaurant, miniature railway, gift shop and plant centre, day visitor events and weddings.
Historic Houses is a not-for-profit organisation representing more than 1,650 of the UK’s independently owned historic houses, castles and gardens.
Around 500 of these properties open their doors to visitors for days out, special tours, school visits, film locations, weddings and events, or as memorable places to stay.
Members range from iconic stately homes such as Blenheim Palace, Highclere Castle, Castle Howard, Knebworth House, Longleat and Burghley House, to more intimate houses such as Traquair in Scotland, Treowen in Wales and Belle Isle in Northern Ireland, and most are still private family homes.
Just over 320 houses and gardens take part in a member-access scheme that allows over 50,000 of us card-carrying Historic Houses members access for free.