The stunning formal gardens at Arley Hall were created in the 19th and 20th centuries when the former landscape by ‘Capability’ Brown was swept away. The gardens are divided into different areas each with their own character.
The double herbaceous border is my favourite – in the words of Chris Beardshaw: ‘The jewel in their crown is the herbaceous borders which are not only the earliest but also one of the finest examples of this horticultural art you are likely to see anywhere in the world.’
But there’s lots else to explore including the Rootery, the Walled Garden, the Herb Garden, the Scented Garden and the Arboretum.
Peaky Blinders and Hollyoaks were both filmed here.
Arley Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Ashbrook.
Historic Houses members visit for free.
The original house at Arley was built after Sir Piers Warburton moved here from Warburton in 1469. In 1743, Sir Peter Warburton inherited the Estate and although the Hall had not been lived in since 1676, the garden had been maintained.
Several unsigned plans were drawn up between 1744 – 1750 showing a parterre to the west, a wilderness to the east with what appears to be the words ‘flower garden’ in the middle; the canals are still visible.
Between 1755 and 1763, the Warburtons moved to their other estate, Aston Park while further work was carried out at Arley; the canals
were filled in and the timber exterior of the house was faced with bricks.
On Sir Peter and Lady Warburton’s return to the Hall, they invited William Emes to discuss plans for the wider landscape. Emes suggested a lawn to the south with a ha–ha separating it from the Park; work was started in July of that year with further work in 1780s. The Alcove Summerhouse was built in 1791.
As Sir Peter had no children, the estate was inherited by his nine–year old great–nephew Rowland Egerton. By 1832, the house was
‘dilapidated and swarming with rats’ so Rowland built a new house designed by George Latham in the Jacobean style, in red brick with blue diaper work.
In 1850s, Anthony Salvin was commissioned to design the forecourt, the Bavarian–style clock tower and the Chapel.
On Captain John Egerton–Warburton’s death from war wounds in 1915, the estate was inherited by their eldest daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Desmond Flower, 10th Viscount Ashbrook in 1934; Arley Hall is still in the Ashbrook family.