Gardens in East Anglia

September 11, 2017 @ 10:00 – September 12, 2017 @ 17:00

This is a tour of gardens all situated south of Bury St Edmund’s, Suffolk.

Day 1
We meet at Ousden House, near Newmarket.  It was described as ‘spectacular’ and ‘exceptional’ when it was opened in 2014, after 20 years of work by the owners.  Topiary, mainly of box and yew, is used both structurally and decoratively.  A long double crinkle crankle hedge of yew is of particular note.  There are many other features such as the long moat garden, sheltered by cloud pruned yew, and the courtyard garden.

Lunch with wine or a soft drink will be taken at a local pub restaurant.

The next venue is Ickworth House (in the care of the National Trust).  The principle objective of our visit is to hear from the Outdoor Manager, Sean Reid, about the action the NT is taking about the restoration of the extensive hedges, which have been described to be of crucial aesthetic importance.  Afternoon tea will follow at the NT West Wing Cafe at Ickworth.

The first day’s programme will end at 17:00.

Ickworth House photo by Squeezyboy (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Ousden House

Overnight accommodation is not included, but suggestions will be provided to assist you.  Dinner, with wine & drinks beforehand, will be arranged for the whole group at 7.30 for 8 pm.  Members will, however, be free to make their own arrangements for dinner but experience has shown that most welcome a further opportunity to renew old friendships and discuss matters of mutual interest.

The Old Parsonage

Day 2
The next day we visit two gardens, south of Ickworth.  The first is Spencers, Great Yeldham, where we meet at 10.00 am for coffee/tea.  This romantic eighteenth century garden is notable for its historicity.  An introductory talk will be given by the owner or her head gardener.  The walled garden was laid out by Lady Anne Spencer, granddaughter of the first Duke of Marlborough, who also had the house built.  The gardens have been renovated by Tom Stuart-Smith.  Some members will recall Lord ‘Rab’ Butler, who lived there in the 1970s and 1980s and gave his name to the delphiniums growing there.
We will have lunch with wine or soft drink at Spencers.

Finally, we drive to Parsonage House, Haverhill.  The garden has featured in ‘Hortus’ and ‘Country Life’ amongst other journals.  A three-acre formal garden surrounds the fifteenth century house and comprises topiary, mixed borders, potager and pond (part of the original moat).  The lawn is dominated by a huge and ancient topiary yew.  Some of the garden buildings are recent, but are of interest, having been designed by Charles Morris, who designed the Orchard Room at Highgrove House for our principal patron, HRH the Prince of Wales.  A generous homemade tea will be provided before we all disperse at 17:00.


EBTS members are encouraged to book tickets online as this is the quickest and simplest way to get tickets.

However any member who is not happy to use the internet should send a letter or email to Di Cave.
    Email –
    Post – 27 Edgarley Terrace, London SW6 6QE

Please include in your letter or email the following information:-

  1. Name of the visit you wish to attend
  2. The name of each person attending + details of any guests
  3. A contact phone number
  4. How you wish to pay for the tickets – cheque or bank transfer

Please note the following if you do not book online:

  • Payment can only be by cheques or bank transfers
  • Bookings will start to be processed from 10:00 on Saturday 25th February and will be processed in the order in which they were received
  • If the full details are not provided tickets will not be booked until the correct information has been supplied
  • Places are limited so we advise you to send your booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment

Owing to anticipated demand, it is regretted that only one guest per member is permitted i.e. Single members 1 guest and Joint members 2 guests.  If visits are oversubscribed, then Members on the waiting list will have priority for any places that become available.

There is an additional charge of £5.00 for guest tickets.

Note: If you are not a member of EBTS and you would like to attend one of the visits you can join the society online by clicking on button below, alternatively you can attend as a guest of an existing member who will need to purchase the ticket for you.


If you need to cancel a ticket, the amount of the event fee payable is:

0% – if you cancel longer than 1 calendar month before the event
40% – if you cancel between 15 days and 1 calendar month before the event
75% – if you cancel between 5 days and 14 days before the event
100% – if you cancel with less than 5 days before the event

Applicants should notify Di Cave if they are unable to attend.