Created in the 18th century by the Earls of Strafford as a result of family fueding, Wentworth Castle Gardens are the only Grade I listed gardens in South Yorkshire.
Within the gardens are two large Union Jack shaped sections which are made up of individual triangular slices to form the shape of Union Jacks. These were created to send a patriotic message at the time, and the geometric maze-like designs were very fashionable in 1713 when created.
Unfortunately, these gardens became overgrown over the years, so the National Trust came up with an idea. Wentworth Castle Gardens are now working with community groups to renovate these sections of the Union Jack Gardens, giving groups the opportunity to express themselves in each segment by using 18th century plants and structures to bring history and unity back to the gardens.
Thanks to the Heritage Open Days campaign, the National Trust picked up on our 2023 event to feature in the National Trust magazine. Following this article, the Friends were contacted by the National Trust crew at Wentworth Castle Gardens to see if we were interested in getting involved in this special Union Jack Gardens project. We just couldn't refuse this fantastic opportunity, so we emailed back with a huge YES!
We have since been to visit the gardens, have chosen our segment, and have measured it to create a plan. We are now currently in the process of designing the segment and clearing out the weeds and overgrowth to be able to start planting up in the warmer months. We took some photos before we started working, and we look forward to showing you the 'after' photos! Stay tuned for more over 2024.