Kilver Court Gardens

Kilver Courts three and a half acre gardens were created at the beginning of the 1900’s by then owner Ernest Jardine (1859 – 1947). A progressive industrialist, Jardine ran a lace-making factory on the Kilver Court site and created the gardens as a recreational space for his employees. Jardine’s ‘model factory’ became known as ‘Jardines Park’ and were used as a place of recreation and relaxation for the busy, factory workforce.

Kilver Court Gardens

By 1907, Jardine had employed 128 people and produced machinery for his lace-making business. The mill became a real community, with Ernest providing recreation rooms for his workers, as well as introducing a pub, the Ship Inn, to the site and even a schoolhouse for the workers’ children to attend. The old school house is today recognisable as the Mulberry Factory Outlet shop. At the back of the factory, Jardine restored the existing mill pond, transforming it into an ornamental lake with a small rowing boat for the employees. Fruit and vegetables were grown to provide lunchtime meals and allotments were created to encourage workers to grow their own food.

Kilver Court Gardens

The Showering family have made cider in Shepton Mallet for over 200 years, and set up their first brewery at the former Ship Inn which sits at the front of the Kilver Court site. Part of the original brewery in Kilver Street still remains and is used for cider making. The Great Grandfather of the present Showering generation acquired the land on Kilver Street in 1843 and Francis Showering joined the family business in 1929, producing the experimental drink ‘Babycham’ in 1947

The success of the new drink prompted massive expansion and Showering’s acquired the Kilver Court buildings that sat alongside the River Sheppey to have as a production site.

Jardine’s Park and mill, which were lying empty, were obtained during further expansion in the late 1950’s. Francis Showering oversaw the landscaping of the gardens and in 1961 based his designs on the Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winning garden by Mr Whiteleg – who came himself to oversee the project.

Kilver Court Gardens

Our rockery is based on the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winning rockery by George Whitelegg is a bold and modern design statement. It is a mature rockery built using sandstone boulders from the Forest of Dean to edge a man-made stream and waterfall.

Conifers provide the larger geometric blocks, featuring Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’, mid-green Picea abies ‘Albertiana Conica’ and the golden columns of Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’. Japanese acers show seasonal variation from delicate spring greens to deep autumnal rusts and purples (look out for the burgundy-leafed palmatum dissectum).

Kilver Court Gardens

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16 Comments CherryPie on May 30th 2017

16 Responses to “Kilver Court Gardens”

  1. I stuggle keeping up the few flower beds I have. I know I had be made trying to keep this up.

  2. The Yum List says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

  3. Ginnie says:

    And that bridge!!!! That’s all I kept seeing…the bridge!

    (Btw, I had problems with the link you used for your blog, but Astrid found this good one for you. I’ll bookmark it in case it happens again.)

    • CherryPie says:

      The bridge is a fabulous backdrop to the garden :-)

      I am not sure what the problem is with my link. I checked on your photoblogs and the links I left as I commented are the same…

  4. lisl says:

    Imagine having all that ion your estate, Cherie

  5. Lovely photos and such an interesting post. I had never heard of the gardens so it was good to read all about them – thank you.

    • CherryPie says:

      I had not heard of them either. After visiting Montacute house we had some time to spare and Googled something nearby to visit.

      We were expecting the gardens to be something and nothing and were pleasantly surprised to and unexpected hidden gem :-)

  6. Jardine’s jardin! How’s my French? ;)

  7. james higham says:

    Different time, wasn’t it, providing such things. Titus Salt springs to mind.

  8. Ayush says:

    excellent shots, CP. i love that bridge. and your notes strike a personal chord with me since i grew up in a colony that was built by the company my father worked for, complete with a school, hospital, cinema and a sports complex.