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Devon Gardens Trust is devoted to the preservation and enhancement of gardens in the UK county of Devon

Visit to Marwood Hill Gardens and Gorwell House

Date & Time of Event: 
Wednesday, 1 June, 2016 (All day)



This magical and very special 20 acre private garden with three lakes is set in a valley tucked away in North Devon only 4 miles from Barnstaple.  Created by Dr Jimmy Smart VMH in the late 1950s the gardens are a wonderful haven in which to relax and enjoy the impressive collections of plants, shrubs and trees and experience the views and peaceful atmosphere. The garden has featured on many garden programmes over the years and will be well known to many DGT members.  Our visit will include a short talk about the garden and then members will be able to explore the garden before returning to the Tea Room for lunch.  For more information about the garden visit www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk.


In September 2016 the owners of Gorwell House will have been in residence for 40 years, and the garden was started soon after they moved in.  It is now a wonderful plantsman’s garden with rare plants and trees established in a 4-acre site that enjoys a maritime microclimate.  Magnolias, Camellias and Araucaria are particular favourites of owner Dr John Marston, but Banksia, Grevillea, Sassafras and many other unusual shrubs and trees (including a Kentucky Coffee Tree) have been planted.  In 1997 following a trip to Chile, the garden became one of the trial outposts for Chilean plants from the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.  A visit to Sichuan Province in 2004 resulted in some unusual Chinese specimens being introduced.  Temples, follies and a Shell Grotto have been built to create focal viewpoints within the garden.  Gorwell should be approaching its best during our visit in early June.

Marwood Hill Astilbe collection         Gorwell House Long Border

Marwood Hill holds a number of National Collections,
including Astilbe.

 The Gorwell House long border with one of the temples
built as focal points within this wonderful plantsman's

Programme for the Visit

10.15  ~  Arrival at Marwood Hill Gardens (directions will be sent to everyone who books).
10.30  ~  Short introductory talk by a member of the Gardens staff on the origin, development and maintenance of the garden.
10.45  ~  Unescorted tour of the Gardens.
12.45  ~  Lunch in the Tea Room (at own cost) – a pre-selection sheet will be sent to all attendees.
13.45  ~  Depart from Marwood Hill Gardens in own vehicles to Gorwell House (approx. 15 minute drive).
14.00  ~ Arrival at Gorwell House.
14.15  ~  Introductory talk by Dr John Marston followed by escorted tour of the gardens.
16.00  ~  Refreshments and depart.

Where:  Marwood Hill Garden, Barnstaple, EX31 4EB and Gorwell House, Goodleigh Road, Barnstaple, EX32 7JP.

BOTH GARDENS  -  £10 (DGT Members), £12 (non-members).  
MARWOOD HILL GARDEN ONLY  -  £5 (DGT Members), £6 (non-members).  Garden entry only.  No refreshments.

GORWELL HOUSE ONLY  -  £5 (DGT Members), £6 (non-members).  Garden entry and light refreshments.

Download the booking form here.

When:  Wednesday 1st June 2016.   Please book before Tuesday 24th May 2016