Be part of Hestercombe’s heritage

Be part of Hestercombe’s heritage

Hestercombe is offering the chance for visitors to own a very special part of its historic gardens.

Last year, as part of their 20th anniversary appeal they began offering visitors the chance to sponsor one of 60 crab apple trees to form an attractive avenue along the historic path to Sandilands – originally what would have been known as the ‘Portman’ Drive.

The replanting of this driveway will recreate a path which would have originally existed between around 1887 and 1903. When ‘Teddy’ Portman moved into Hestercombe in July 1894, he almost immediately launched into an ambitious programme of building and improvement.

Be part of Hestercombe’s heritage
Blossom path - Credit Carol Casselden

The archival records show that a Certificate of Completion for a new highway at Hestercombe Lane was issued in 1897. This signified the extension of the road to the immediate south of the estate to West Monkton from alongside the Walled Garden, allowing for the closure of the medieval route across the Hestercombe Parkland and making the construction of the new drive feasible.

Hestercombe still have 30 crab apple trees available to sponsor. Grown by Chew Valley Trees, they are the young trees of the Malus hupehensis variety, which are deciduous trees, known for their showy flowers in spring and ornamental or edible fruit in autumn, and have great autumn foliage.

Hestercombe is offering the sponsorship of one of these beautiful crab apple trees for £250 each, and the money raised from this will go towards the continued improvements and rejuvenation of the grounds and gardens at Hestercombe.

Hestercombe is renowned for its spectacular heritage gardens, brought back from the brink of obscurity thanks to the determination of CEO Philip White and a team of dedicated volunteers and staff. In their stunning new setting the trees will be enjoyed by thousands of people year round.

As Hestercombe constantly develops, and in the 175th year of Hestercombe designer Gertrude Jekyll’s birth, it’s exciting news that we’ve been able to push forward and reinstate this path.

All the trees will be planted at the end of February and those who have sponsored a tree will be invited to help with the planting.

If you are interested in owning a part of Hestercombe’s heritage, please contact or call 01823 413923.

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