Hergest Croft Gardens

The gardens are in the heart of the Welsh Marches with stunning views towards the Black Mountains. The gardens contain a unique collection of rare plants, trees and shrubs and over 90 "Champion" Trees. There are gorgeous flower borders, an old fashioned Kitchen Garden, Azalea Garden, Maple Grove, and Park Wood, all to discover. It extend over 28 ha (70 acres) with more than five thousand rare trees and shrubs. The Gardens hold the UK National Collections of Maples, birches and Zelkovas.

 

Spring (March to April) Meadows of blue scillas and snowdrops herald the start of spring. These are followed by white, yellow and trumpet daffodils spread all over Hergest Croft Garden.

Summer (May to August) The brilliant azaleas are a blaze of yellow, apricot, pink and orange. Huge hybrid rhododendrons over 9m (30ft) tall are completely covered in large pink, red and white blooms over carpets of bluebells in Park Wood.

Autumn (September to October) The dazzling autumn colour of the collections of maples and birches is breath-taking. Red, yellow, purple and gold leaves glisten throughout. The trees in the Park have glowing autumn colours.

For more infomation see  http://www.hergest.co.uk/


Montgomery Castle

A stone masonry castle looking over the town of Montgomery in Powys, mid Wales. It is one of many Norman castles on the border between Wales and England.

The original motte and bailey is now known as Hen Domen and was built at the order of Roger de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury some time between 1071 and 1074. The rebuilding of Montgomery Castle in stone was commenced in the late summer of 1223 on the sixteenth birthday of Henry III of England, a mile to the south-east of the original site.   In 1267 Montgomery was the meeting place for treaty negotiations, where King Henry III granted Llywelyn ap Gruffydd the title of prince of Wales. Fifteen years later in December 1282 the army of Montgomery marched from here to Builth Wells to surprise and kill Llywelyn. After 1295 and the final Welsh War of the thirteenth century the castle became more of a military backwater and prison than a front line fortress.  Montgomery was granted a Royal Charter by the King in 1227, making it the oldest borough in Wales.

For More information see http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/montgomerycastle/


Powis Castle

Powis Castle was built in the mid-13th century by a Welsh prince - Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn - wanting to establish his independence from his traditional enemies, the aggressive princes of Gwynedd (North Wales). This was in contrast to the other castles of North Wales (such as Caernarfon, Harlech and Conwy) which built by the English to consolidate Edward I’s conquest of Wales.

By the late 13th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd had established himself as Prince of Wales, and in 1274 he destroyed Powis Castle, forcing Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn into exile. However, within three years Llywelyn’s principality had crumbled leaving Gruffudd of Powys to regain his lordship and rebuild the castle.  Gruffudd, his son and grandson had all died by 1309, and with no male heir, the castle and lordship passed to an heiress, Hawise, who married Sir John Charlton from Shropshire. In 1312, Hawise’s uncle, Gruffudd Fychan, attacked the castle in an attempt to claim the lordship but failed. Charlton repaired the damage and built two great drum towers, which you can still see, either side of the castle’s west entrance.

Descendants of the Charltons continued as Lords of Powis for over 100 years. However in 1421, lack of a male heir resulted in the castle and estate being divided between two daughters, Joyce and Joan, who had married Sir John Grey and Sir John Tiptoft.  Under the Tiptofts and their successor, Lord Dudley, the Outer Ward of the castle was neglected and needed considerable restoration. Luckily, in the 1530s Edward Grey, Lord Powis, took possession of the whole castle and began a major re-building programme that made Powis the most imposing noble residence in North and Central Wales.

In 1578, Powis was leased to Sir Edward Herbert (c.1542–95), the second son of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Anne Parr (sister of Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII). As a second son Edward was not likely to inherit his family home so he had to make his own way in the world. In 1587, he purchased the castle and estate and it remained in the hands of the Herbert family until 1952 when George, 4th earl of Powis, bequeathed the castle and gardens to the nation, under the care of the National Trust.

If the castle itself is not enough, wander the gardens. Dating back 300 years, our world-class gardens are steeped in history. Nowhere else will you experience such a theatrical mix of dramatic terraces, sophisticated flower borders, fantastical topiary and superb views. Terraces blasted from the solid rock and marvel at our spectacular yew hedges, dancing statues and lavish herbaceous borders. The gardens never fail to impress and there’s something interesting to see all year round from spring bulbs and summer blooms to autumn shades and stunning crisp winter views.

For more information see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden