Clays Horticultural Society

by | 18 September 2023 | Gardening Club, Hobbies, Retford

In July, Clays Horticultural Society members visited Renishaw Hall and gardens. The group of over 30 gardeners, ventured there using their own transport. After enjoying coffee / lunch in the delightful café, the visitors had a guided tour of the Hall.

Renishaw Hall is a country house in Renishaw in the parish of Eckington in Derbyshire, England. It is a Grade I listed building and has been the home of the Sitwell family for nearly 400 years. The house was built in 1625 by George Sitwell (1601–1667) who, in 1653, was High Sheriff of Derbyshire. The Sitwell fortune was made as colliery owners and ironmasters from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

In 1965, Sir Osbert Sitwell gave the house to his nephew Sir Reresby Sitwell, 7th Baronet. The 7th Baronet was the eldest son of Sir Sacheverell Sitwell and owned the hall from 1965 until 2009 when he bequeathed it to his daughter, Alexandra Hayward, who enthusiastically carries on the work of preservation and restoration to the present day.

The visitors also had time to enjoy the extensive gardens. The Italianate gardens at Renishaw were visualised and built by Sir George Sitwell between 1886 and 1936. Inspired by what already existed and rooting for the future potential of the grounds, Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell introduced an array of colour and texture between 1965 and 2009, emphasising the lines of the garden and ultimately transforming the overall look and feel.

Since taking over the estate in 2009, Alexandra Hayward has brought her vision to life by introducing exotic plantings and a stunning rose garden. She continues to work closely with a team of skilled and devoted gardeners, who maintain the exceptional beauty of Renishaw’s outdoor spaces.

As it was July, the gardens were rather wind-blown due to the unseasonable weather, but the visit was thoroughly enjoyed by all; a glorious destination almost on our doorstep.

Clays Horticultural Society’s new programme commences on Monday 25th September at 7.30pm (please note this is a week later than usual) in Wheatley Village Hall. New members are always welcome. This meeting will welcome back Doug Stewart to speak about ‘Easy Gardening for Tired Joints!’.