Benvarden Garden in County Antrim is heaven on earth… there is nowhere quite like it… however, recently I was reminded of that lovely and peaceful place on a visit to Barrington Court in Somerset.
Benvarden garden is owned by the Montgomery family and I was honoured to meet the owners a couple of years ago. We stood and chatted on the beautiful bridge 130 year old, ninety foot bridge across the River Bush. It was erected by a Montgomery ancestor and I didn’t like to tell the present owners that my daughter got her head stuck between the wrought iron tracery when she was little .. we were on the verge of ringing the fire brigade and imagining them arriving with bolt cutters and wrecking the bridge… oh the bill! Fortunately, this catastrophe didn’t come to pass because we managed to extract child’s head from ornate ironwork without injury to either!
Benvarden estate was built in the 1630’s and the Montgomery family have lived there since 1798… what a wonderful heritage!
Barrington Court is older, it was built in the 1500’s but it has a more chequered history of ownership until the National Trust acquired it in 1907. The lily garden and other garden areas were designed by the famous Gertrude Jekyll and they are truly stunning. Barrington Court is a much busier place with far more visitors, and I did like it very much and look forward to going again… but my heart will always be in Benvarden!