Grounds, Gardens & Tree Trail


Please note there is currently work underway on our 13th Century Grade 1 listed building, Marwell Hall. With a responsibility to look after the historic building, it is important that we re-render the exterior during the driest months and we’re aiming to have the work completed by September. Although Marwell Hall is used for private events and is not accessible to public, we’d like to thank you for your understanding during this time.

Located behind Marwell Hall and next to the back lawn, our Formal Garden includes a representation of three garden styles of the 16th and 17th century

Stroll around our knot, parterre and kitchen gardens and become acquainted with both the plants and their uses.

Knot Garden

This type of garden was very popular in the Tudor period. Our knot garden uses small box hedging to frame the perimeter, with box and lavender crossing at strategic locations within this frame. Roses and pinks serve as fill in plants within the design .The term knot derives from the over and under of threads used in an English knot, or strapwork, needlework pattern. The hedge height rises at hedge junctions to indicate the crossing of threads.

Watch a video of one of Marwells Gardens on YouTube.

Parterre Garden

By the 17th century, knot gardens were considered dated and other garden styles such as the parterre became fashionable. This French name means on the ground. Parterres might include a group of flower beds laid out in a formal pattern, often surrounded by hedging, and occasionally having a central feature. These gardens became fashionable in the 1600s and had a revival in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Colourful roses and lilies feature in our garden.

Kitchen Garden

This garden would have been used for cultivating herbs, fruit and vegetables for the Hall's kitchen. Our garden has been designed with a formal pattern and is separated from the rest of the ornamental gardens, as was often the case. Herbs were popular in the 16th century for a variety of uses. Many such as marjoram and lemon balm were used for culinary, medicinal and occasionally aromatic purposes. Vegetables such as carrots became popular in the 17th century and the plants we are growing here today may have been typical of gardens then.

Travel in time with a tree

Explore both our Formal Garden and grounds using our self-guided, tree trail, available to download below. Discover our ancient trees and their historical and ecological importance.

Marwell Tree Trail Leaflet

5MB, Landscape PDF

Where next?

Continue exploring Marwell, or check out our ticket prices.

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5 of us went to Marwell for the day and it was awesome, every part of the zoo had something amazing to see and we loved that the zoo is so spread out and the enclosures are huge and you can tell the animals are well looked after. Well worth every… Read full reviewAndy wells, 29th July 2015