New RHS garden announced

RHS to create new Fifth Garden in Salford by bringing back to life lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall

Following its plans to create a stunning new 63 hectare (156 acre) garden in the heart of the North West - by bringing back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford - the RHS has moved swiftly to appoint a world-class landscape architect to deliver the master plan for the project.

Tom Stuart-Smith has been appointed to create the overall master plan for the garden, which will include the restoration of the four hectare (11 acre) Walled Kitchen Garden, one of the largest in the UK. Plans also include a new schools Learning Centre to grow young people’s horticultural knowledge.

The fifth garden will be named RHS Garden Bridgewater, and the first phase of its development is planned to open in 2019 as part of the Society's wider, ten-year £160 million investment programme to achieve its Vision to enrich everyone's lives through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.

The garden in pictures - see how the site looks now
 

The planning process

With the planning process under way, we held two public consultation events at the beginning of November, where residents could ask questions about the project. There was a strong turnout and we have received more than 230 written comments following on from these events.
 

We welcome your feedback and comments - please contact us by email



Part of the ten-acre Walled GardenThe project is the result of collaboration between the RHS, Peel Land and Property and Salford City Council, and the aspiration for RHS Garden Bridgewater is to create a major new destination garden which aims to welcome and inspire one million people a year within a decade. 

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said:  'We always thought it would take us a long time to find the ideal site for our Fifth Garden, but with its beautiful landscapes, good public transport links and outstanding location, Worsley New Hall was an opportunity we couldn’t miss.'
 

What happens next?

Phase one of the creation of the garden will begin this year and will include site acquisition, planning approvals and site clearance. The RHS will begin making strong links with the local community, involving volunteers and people within the region to help establish an RHS presence, as well as improving the Walled Garden.
 

Want to follow our progress?

Keep up to date our news on how RHS Garden Bridgewater is progressing - sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you posted as the exciting new project takes shape.

And please let us hear your feedback and comments - you can contact us by email
 

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  • HAB2112 avatar

    By HAB2112 on 03/03/2016

    very excited about this - my ancestors worked for the Earl of Ellesmere and I have lived in the area most of my life. wish my granddad was here to hear the news and see the progress, he would have loved it.


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  • Mrs SC avatar

    By Mrs SC on 08/01/2016

    I lived in the top flat at the Gardener's Cottage for a few years from 1969 when my then husband opened the garden centre that he then managed. He wonders, when and if the lake is drained, whether anyone will find the dumper that went through the ice when he tried to drive it across in the hard winter of 1963.


  • Mrs A Morris-Jones avatar

    By Mrs A Morris-Jones on 29/12/2015

    This is wonderful news. I hope there will be updates on TV like the documentary they did for Heligan, I would really enjoy watching that. I just wish I lived a bit closer, its too far for me to commute from N Wales as a volunteer, but a visit when its open is far more realistic for me than the other RHS gardens which are too far away, can't wait, 2019 seems a long way off.


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  • Charles F avatar

    By Charles F on 24/12/2015

    I hope that these gardens will show their true original nature and try and refrain from some recent regional invented culture. When they were built, they simply reflected the desires of the owner and designer, combined with the national trends of the day. There was none of this regional nonsense. Interestingly, being only c200 miles further North than London, the temperature difference is around 1C, so don't expect too much difference in what can and cannot be grown at Wisley. I'm afraid that is no help for hill gardeners!


  • anonymous avatar

    By anonymous on 07/12/2015

    geoff.s. 7Dec 15. Worsley Old Hall is on the other side of the Boothstown road. It was once linked by a bridge to the new hall.It is now a pub formerly offices of the National Coal Board. Scouts uses the site of the New Hall in the 60s. Look forward to visiting the garden having not seen it for fifty years!


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  • Wendy R B avatar

    By Wendy R B on 28/11/2015

    Great news. Would love to be involved as a volunteer. Only hope any cafe on site is not Betty's as at Harlow Carr, too expensive and a monopoly. Keep it local and affordable for families please.


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  • expatmancunian avatar

    By expatmancunian on 19/11/2015

    This is incredibly exciting news. Having lived in Worsley for 35 years, I often walked my dog in this area, exploring it thoroughly. It always intrigued me and I wanted to know more of its history. My sister is a very enthusiastic RHS member and we will be amongst the first visitors, should we live long enough!


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  • LoisD avatar

    By LoisD on 19/11/2015

    I live very close to the new RHS garden site in Worsley and was involved in the community archaeological dig on the site of the New Hall a couple of years ago. I would love to get involved in this project too as it has so much potential. That said, I have to agree with the comments regarding the choice of name, 'Worsley Hall' or 'Worsley New Hall' would be preferable, even though we do have the Bridgewater Canal.


  • JDV avatar

    By JDV on 02/11/2015

    Great news for the local area and one of the best things that could have happened to a site which also sits within an interesting historical context. Very excited!


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  • Worsleyman avatar

    By Worsleyman on 31/10/2015

    What a perfect site! I know it well, having lived locally for many years. The historic Bridgewater Canal runs along the site, which also adjoins the M60 motorway. The site falls away from the site of Worsley New Hall, demolished many years ago, down to the canal. This should provide well drained soil at the top, with a high water table at the bottom.The Botany Bay woodland lies on the other side of the canal, named after the Australian penal colony by the navvies who dug the canal. This area is deep acid peat wetland, but not part of the site. The walled garden has been crying out to be renovated. All in all, a perfect site!


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  • Soul Galore avatar

    By Soul Galore on 30/10/2015

    Great news for our area. As to the previous comment of keeping it's name of Worsley Old Hall, that is incorrect. The Old Hall is a separate entity further up in Worsley. We're looking forward to 2019 and hope the project will need volunteers to help out - we'll be happy to help.


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  • young at heart avatar

    By young at heart on 30/10/2015

    I thought it was in Somerset; it should retain it's original name of Worsley Old Hall. It's good to know that it's in the north (me being a southerner). My friend came from that area and we visit relatives & friends who live there. Just hope I am still around and able to travel in 2019 as I live in Milton Keynes. Look forward to viewing photos and articles as the restoration proceeds. M Short


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  • Mr R J Kidson avatar

    By Mr R J Kidson on 30/10/2015

    Comments re "No RHS gardens in Midlands (or Wales) are noted. An alternative model to RHS owned and operated gardens may be possible. This would require the RHS to actively seek partner gardens within a few miles of each other to collaborate in producing complementary styles, so that members could experience a range of gardens, each worthy of a day's visit, then move on to a different style on another day etc. For example, combine Pershore with Croome Park; Hidcote and Kifsgate; The Dingle with Powis Castle. I am sure other pairings could be found, in, say, the East Midlands, and Goucstershire/Monmouthshire. Such a process could generate new collaborative ideas and excite visitors across the country.


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  • anonymous avatar

    By anonymous on 29/10/2015

    When the search for a site for a new RHS garden was announced, we hoped it would be accessible to people living in the Midlands. With the choice of Salford, the situation remains that members in this very populous region cannot reasonably visit any RHS garden without an overnight stay. There is a great need for an RHS presence here which is now unlikely to be met in the foreseeable future.


  • Wendy Lamb avatar

    By Wendy Lamb on 29/10/2015

    I am very pleased the new garden will be in Salford. I think the name is perfect. My family come from this area.Bridgewater was originally associated with this area as I have been following my family tree so it's good the ancient name is being used in the correct location. Will definately be visiting the garden when it is finished.


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  • Mike Whittall avatar

    By Mike Whittall on 29/10/2015

    Agree totally with comments of Suzanne C. I'm sure we are not the only RHS members or keen gardeners in Scotland (I live near Inverness), and while a fifth RHS garden is obviously very good news it is a great shame that we do not have a RHS garden closer than Harlow Carr.


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  • Steve R avatar

    By Steve R on 28/10/2015

    This is fantastic news particularly as most of the RHS gardens are North of the Watford Gap. I have been to this new location few times as it was a garden center for many years with the walled garden largely intact and used, until about 10 years ago. Sadly in recent times it fell into disuse (I peeked over the fence) and I will be excited to see it brought back to life in the next few years.


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  • Toby and Anne avatar

    By Toby and Anne on 28/10/2015

    Slightly disappointed with the location as Manchester seems to have got a lot of support over the Midlands recently. Also agree that the name is misleading and possibly disrespectful to the original name and location.


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  • David B avatar

    By David B on 26/10/2015

    So pleased with the news of the new garden, I would be difficult to find a more fitting location. The local area is steeped in history, the refurbishment of a forgotten garden will be both challenging and exciting. This will be a Lost Gardens of Heligan of the north. I'm so looking forward to the garden being developed over the coming years I'm looking forward to volunteering and helping in this tremendous venture.


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  • Rod Cleary avatar

    By Rod Cleary on 25/10/2015

    I only wrote a letter earlier this year bemoaning the fact that there was a genunine discrepancy of partner gardens to visit for members in the Northwest of England and the rest of the country and how The present RHS gardens were inaccessible for many in our great northern cities. However, this is fantastic news that the balance is about to be redressed. Well done the RHS for their foresight and for what I'm sure will be an incredible facility for future generations. I can also see RHS Bridgewater helping many people that are disadvantaged engaging with nature, growing and gardening....fabulous !


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  • Kath L avatar

    By Kath L on 25/10/2015

    I am so excited about the new garden which will be within walking distance of my home! As an RHS member I love to visit the RHS flower shows, partner gardens as well as Harlow Carr and have been to Wisley too. I look forward to hearing how I can help with the development of this garden in the future.


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  • Sharon & Jeff avatar

    By Sharon & Jeff on 25/10/2015

    Also very pleased and excited about the new project. I live in Boothstown Worsley and have a been a regular visitor to Worsley Garden Centre and surrounding area. I can understand the queries about the name Bridgewater but with the Bridgewater Canal and the Duke of Bridgewater being part of Worsley I feel the name is just perfect. I look forward to being involved.


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  • NiallC avatar

    By NiallC on 25/10/2015

    This is really excellent news. It is great to see the name reflecting the industrial heritage of the area, i.e. the Bridgewater Canal. I look forward to being able to volunteer in some capacity.


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  • Suzanne C avatar

    By Suzanne C on 24/10/2015

    When I read the email I assumed this new garden was in Somerset. I see others have made similar comments so I do think the name will cause confusion among potential visitors. And as a resident of a Scottish island, this new garden is much too far away to make visiting it possible, as, sadly, are all the RHS gardens. A garden somewhere between Glasgow and Edinburgh, where there is a huge concentration of Scotland's population, would still mean a full day's travel to get there for those from the more remote areas, but at least it would be possible to visit from time to time. It would also be closer for people from the north of England than Harlow Carr and the new garden will be.


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  • anonymous avatar

    By anonymous on 24/10/2015

    Very pleased that the RHS has found a suitable new garden. However, why call it Bridgewater?? Will not people think it is based at or near Bridgewater in Somerset?? Why not keep the Worsley Old Hall name?


  • Mrs Creasey avatar

    By Mrs Creasey on 24/10/2015

    Sorry but I am so disappointed with the location of the new garden. Living in Milton keynes means that the journey to any of your gardens is lengthy and difficult even wisley which in miles is the nearest but entails travelling across London. Not an easy nor quick journey. Was hoping for a garden in the Midlands somewhere.


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  • Mrs A Whittaker avatar

    By Mrs A Whittaker on 24/10/2015

    This is such good news.I am also looking forward to the new show at Chatsworth.


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  • Mrs M E Galley-Taylor avatar

    By Mrs M E Galley-Taylor on 24/10/2015

    I am also very pleased as my father came from the area and became a keen gardener, but only once he had left to move to Derbyshire. However, I do find your choice of name somewhat misleading. To us in the South West, Bridgewater sounds as if it is in Somerset. Why not Worsley Hall? Rejoice in the local name rather than that of the former owner.


  • susanmay avatar

    By susanmay on 24/10/2015

    And about time too. Of the four existing gardens only Harlow Carr is North of Watford and that is in Yorkshire which has a different climate to the North West and is not as accessible as Salford. Whilst it is a pleasure and delight to go to wonderful garden like Wisley, it is not much help to me trying to create garden in the mild but wet and and windy conditions of North Wales. I hope that the new garden will include areas of acid waterlogged soil with guidance on how to deal with massive slugs loads (not snails which don't like the acid soil) and how to grow or build hedges and other wind breaks.


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  • Mrs S M Turner avatar

    By Mrs S M Turner on 24/10/2015

    As an ex-resident of Swinton, Manchester I am extremely pleased about this new RHS garden. I am fortunate to now live within 10 miles of Harlow Carr so this new garden is a real treat for Manchester residents. I used to travel through Worsley and Boothstown on my way to school and had no idea that such a garden had ever existed! Fantastic news - I can't wait to visit in 2019.


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  • anonymous avatar

    By anonymous on 23/10/2015

    Absolutely delighted; as a resident of Salford I am looking forward to getting involved with this new venture, this is great for the area.


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  • Mr C R Sedman avatar

    By Mr C R Sedman on 23/10/2015

    Absolutely wonderful news. As a Manchester resident I'm delighted to see we'll have this nearby. Will it count as part of the Northern Powerhouse I wonder? ha ha!


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  • Mrs J E C Menzies avatar

    By Mrs J E C Menzies on 23/10/2015

    I am so pleased that the RHS is embarking on this fantastic new project in Salford. The press release states that 'The RHS will work with a world class landscape architect to develop a masterplan', which is very exciting. I hope too that the RHS will foster local landscape design talent. This will ensure the garden wears its authentically regional character with pride.


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