The Walled Gardens at Cannington, Nr. Bridgwater, Somerset
Well-behaved dogs on a short lead are allowed in the Fair and Gardens
Cannington Priory (later Cannington Court) was first established in about 1138 by the De Courcy family - lords of nearby Stogursey. The manor and church was given by Robert De Courcy as the main endowment for a house of Benedictine nuns. The Priory was home to the daughters of many of Somerset's leading families. The buildings and gardens have a very long history and have always played an important part in the life of the local community.
In 1536 the Nunnery was dissolved and the Court was held by Edward Rogers, a Member of Parliament for Somerset. In 1672, Charles II granted Cannington to Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. By the time the fourth Lord Clifford held the estate it was allowed to fall into disrepair, but was later restored by the fifth Lord Clifford. In 1919 the tenth Lord Clifford granted the lease of Cannington Court to Somerset County Council. The house and buildings were adapted for Somerset College of Agriculture and Horticulture, known as Somerset Farm Institute. The successor to the institute was Cannington College, which became nationally known for its provision of land-based education, including horticulture.
Cannington College merged with Bridgwater College in 2004, which has allowed significant investment in facilities and equipment, including the redevelopment of the Walled Gardens. In 2009, the Walled Gardens were officially opened by HRH the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward.
The Gardens have classic and contemporary features such as; the 'hot' Herbaceous Border; the Blue Garden; the Sub-Tropical Walk; and a Victorian style fernery, amongst others. There is also a Botanical Glasshouse where arid, sub-tropical and tropical plants can be seen and two smaller gardens within the walls (The Bishop's and Australasian Gardens) are areas of real tranquillity. The Gardens are also home to a Plant Heritage National Plant Collections® of Deschampsia and Santolina, which are displayed in a modern prairie style planting in the Collections Garden.
Somerset TA5 2HA
£4.95 per adult, includes the Fair and Gardens
Children under 16 free
Light lunches and refreshments available in the Tea Rooms