Friday, August 08, 2008

The Beeches Hotel And Victorian Gardens

I was able to find information about the hotel we stayed at, and thought that - since they include the gardens in their name - I may find some information there. But no such luck. The only mention on the various sites about the hotel (which is called "The Beeches Hotel And Victorian Gardens" by the way) was a brief mention in the first paragraph of the following piece of text:

"A few minutes’ walk from the centre of Norwich, the hotel and gardens are well situated for exploring the fine city, with the comfort of country house accommodation.

A warm welcome awaits you at reception. From the moment you check-in to the time you check-out you will be looked after by a team of caring, professional staff. Their job is to ensure your complete satisfaction during your stay. The hotel consists of a total of 43 rooms contained in 3 seporate, characterful Victorian houses, with a modern extension to the main Beeches building. The Beeches is only a 5 - 10 minute walk to the city centre, and is one of the closest hotels to the new Chapelfield Shopping Centre."

I was beginning to think my search would be fruitless when I found this:

"Plantation Garden

Just 600 yards from the City Centre this splendid Victorian Garden is a hidden treasure. Reminiscent of the Secret Garden it has a tranquillity which is perfect to take you away from the bustle of the city. The garden was established 140 years ago in a 3 acre abandoned quarry.

Visit the Plantation Garden's website."

The address and discription found on the website lead me to the conclusion that the "Victorian Garden" mentioned in the name of the hotel and "The Plantation Gardens" are the same garden.

While browsing the website for The Plantation Garden, I found a link leading to a page telling the history of the garden. The following is what was on said page:

"Henry Trevor

In 1856, a prosperous upholsterer and cabinet maker living in Norwich, took a long lease on an industrial site just outside the old City walls. His name was Henry Trevor, and for the next forty years, he spent considerable sums of money and much effort transforming a chalk quarry into a magical garden.
In many ways, Henry Trevor's garden was typical of Victorian taste and technology. He built a fountain, terraces with balustrades, rockworks, a Palm House, and a rustic bridge.
He planted elaborate carpet beds, woodlands and shrubberies. He designed serpentine paths to conduct the visitor along circular routes, and he built and heated several greenhouses with boilers and hot water pipes.
Henry Trevor, however, was also a man of strong personal tastes. His "Gothic" fountain is unique, and he displayed great enterprise in using the fancy bricks from a local manufacturer to create medieval style walls, ruins and follies. Within less than 3 acres, he established a gentleman's residence and garden that reflected in miniature the grand country houses of the Victorian period. Visitors were frequently welcomed in the garden by Henry Trevor, for he was always ready to allow his garden to be used for charitable causes.

After the 1939-45 war, the garden was virtually abandoned. Fortunately, much of the structure has survived, and is gradually being restored by the The Plantation Garden Preservation Trust. The first task of its members was to clear a forest of sycamores and a blanket of ivy to reveal what had become hidden during the past 40 years.
Since then, they have restored the flowerbeds, fountain, balustrading, Italian terrace, rustic bridge and in 2007, the Gothic alcove.
Detailed information about the history of the garden can be found in The Plantation Garden, A History and Guide by Sheila Adam, 1998."



AliceKay said...

Beautiful garden. I've seen the movie, The Secret Garden, and this place looks a lot like the one in the movie. The website you linked for the Plantation Garden has some great pics and lots of information, Tori.

Tori_z said...

I'd hoped it would have some nice pics and stuff for you all to look at. I'm glad it does. :)

Intense Guy said...

Hi Tori!

Thanks for the great Internet detective work - that link to the website for the garden is really nice! History and pictures - It really looks like a neat place to visit. Apparently Donald's house is caled the summerhouse - I wasn't familar with the terminology (me with the black thumb) so I looked it up - Donald's house apparently was a very elaborate "potting shed".

A short cut Donald's summerhouse and other great pictures

Tori_z said...

Thanks for that, Iggy. :)

LadyStyx said...

Ohhh I could go nuts in that garden taking pictures. Im with Alice. I never saw the movie though...I have read the book several times and reading your entry on it made me want to pick it up again.

Karen said...

You have put some beautiful points on your blog Tori and it is a wonder to read. you said in your last post you wished you finished your education. Well honey you are still learning and also teaching us all the value of your worth. Some people may think I am bias but you are indeed worth all your weight in gold!! love, kisses and all the other stuff mam xxx

Intense Guy said...

Hi Tori - It is an honor to inform you that you have an award waiting for you over at my blog. :)

Tori_z said...

Well, if you do read the book again, I hope you enjoy it. :)

And, maybe now would be a good time to watch the movie? ;)

Thanks... I must be worth a lot of gold then. LOL! :)

Thanks... Will come take a look in a sec. :)

ChicagoLady said...

The pictures of the garden are just beautiful. I could probably get lost in there and not mind it for a second. Thanks for looking all that information up for us.

LadyStyx said...

Not until I re-read the book. Movies never quite measure up to my imagination.

Tori_z said...

Fair enough. :)

Tori_z said...

You're welcome. :)