The Garden Guide

Abbey House Gardens

A sixteenth century house with a 5 acre garden in the centre of Malmesbury. The garden has been developed by the Pollards, who bought Abbey House in 1994. There is a Knot Garden with a well, laburnum tunnel and extensive collections of roses and herbs. But, on balance, the garden design style is Postmodern.

Head Gardener's Comment

A garden of great diversity. Up to date but on an ancient hill. Bold, atmospheric, romantic, soothing yet inspiring and containing more plants than many botanic gardens. We've created it all from nothing in ten years but visitors say it looks like it's been here for ever.

Good soil with a huge range of micro-climates.....what more could a gardener want? A feast for the eyes in any season and planted to maximise the interest for visitors whether on legs or with wings! Why not come and see for yourself? We can arrange guided tours for groups by appointment or even arrange a talk on the garden's development either here or at a group venue. Please enquire 01666 827650

Photograph © Abbey House Gardens
Photograph © Abbey House Gardens


The site once formed part of a Benedictine Monastery the remnants of which now function as Malmesbury's Parish Church next door. The Abbot's Garden was bought after the Dissolution by a wealthy clothier, William Stumpe and a late Tudor mansion built from former Abbey stones. A very varied history of decline and rebuild over the following centuries included a period as a Governor's residence during the English Civil War. Divided up at some stages and brought back together at others, the property was again empty and neglected when the present occupiers bought it in 1994 since when the glorious gardens have been planted up and opened to the public to world class acclaim.

Plants of note

150,000 tulips giving a peak display between mid- late April
2000 varieties and species of rose in flower from early June onwards. Rosa Banksia lutea - late May, & Banksia alba (double) - June
Rosa Bracteata McCartney - late July
Hellebores, Heather, Narcissi - Spring
Herbs in an unique circular raised bed setting - May onwards
Auricula theatre set in a bank - May
Laburnum walk - late May
Cissus Striata - evergreen
Fuchsia- August
Specimen trees and shrubs, especially acer - all season but especially spring and autumn
Sophora's Sun King and tetraptera
Mulberry Tree
Exotics - planted out June onwards.
Container Brugmansia several good specimens particularly the variegated variety on show from early June

The Abbey House, Market Cross, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England, SN16 9AS

March 21 to October 31. Daily. Open 11am to 5:30pm.

Adults £6.50 Concessions £5.75 Children 5 - 15 yrs £3.00 Under 5s FREE Family £16 Groups (min 20) £5.50

Visit the Abbey House Gardens website

Nearby gardens

Nearby hotels

Nearby nurseries