Stanton Hall, near Morpeth in Northumberland is a quite delightful plant nursery situated in the picturesque grounds and gardens of old Stanton Hall, parts of which date back to the 14th Century. It is a real gardener’s plant emporium. You will not find a coffee shop selling overpriced comestibles, nor can you purchase dubious household ornaments made in China or a sounds of the rainforest CD. There is no children’s play area with a plastic dinosaur slide and no section selling unfashionable outdoor wear or gas barbecues. Just lovely, lovely plants, shrubs and trees of every variety imaginable that can survive our tough North of England climate.
A good bee plant
Stanton Hall was originally a fourteenth century fortified medieval tower which has been added to and modified over many years. Most of it was built in the 16th century and the south end of the building was altered around 1700. In Henry VIII’s reign Sir Ralph Fenwick, High Sheriff of Northumberland, lived in the tower and the Fenwick family occupied Stanton Hall for almost 200 years until 1730. The Reverand John Hodgson was one of the most distinguished scholars of Northumberland in past times. In 1830 he wrote, ‘Stanton Old Hall – A three storey stronghouse probably dating to the 16th century, oblong with a projecting stair turret on the east. The tower received a new front in 1700 with rusticated quorns and cross windows with swan necked pediments.’ Now, you’d be lucky to get a rusticated quorn on a house these days, even on a Barratt Luxury model.
The gardens themselves have been put together over 30 years to showcase the range of plants sold at Stanton. The Maze Garden, the knot garden and the Lime walk are all fine and are set out to give ideas about colour, grouping and mixtures of shrubs, perennials, herbs and planting structures.
Northumberland is one of our most beautiful and uncrowded counties and Stanton Hall is a very civilised hidden treasure. One greenhouse plays classic FM to the geraniums and the fields next door do a fine line in bifurcated cattle..