Inside Welbeck - Welbeck Estate Grounds Department
21 September 2012
Get a glimpse of Welbeck behind the scenes with our new ‘Inside Welbeck’ report featuring the Welbeck Estate Grounds Department. The gardens at Welbeck, originally the grounds of a Premonstratensian Abbey were developed by Francis Richardson and Humphry Repton in the late 18th century with further developments by Alfred Parsons and Walter Partridge in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Alan Sampson and his team of six gardeners, brave the elements of the temperamental English climate to maintain the beautiful and historic gardens and grounds of the Welbeck Estate. Alan arrived in 2006 following the departure of the MOD to establish a Grounds Maintenance Department at Welbeck. Alongside the careful maintenance of 150 acres of garden and grassland surrounding the Welbeck Abbey and Welbeck Woodhouse, Alan and his team look after the Welbeck villages of Holbeck, Cuckney and Norton, Cuckney House, St. Winifred’s church, Lady Margaret Hall, The Winnings, the Welbeck village, and miles of verges and hedgerows throughout the estate.
The Grounds Department’s latest achievements include the establishment of wildflower meadows across the estate, the development of a formal parterre in the Welbeck Abbey Oxford Wing garden, the revitalisation of the Cricket Square and on going clearing of MOD equipment and assault courses throughout the estate. Alan and his team have also taken on the maintenance of the estates new 800 kw Biomass boiler that burns wood from the sustainable woodland on the Welbeck Estate, providing heat and water to the Welbeck Abbey and Cavendish House offices.
What new projects await Alan and his team? They hope to continue the expansion of the wildflower meadows across the estate, encouraging the presence of the rare bee orchid and other less common varieties of wildflower. Alan and his team also plan to extend the network of hedgerows throughout the estate, in turn providing beneficial nesting and foraging opportunities for local wildlife. All in a day’s work for the Welbeck Estate Grounds Maintenance Team.
For a glimpse of how the gardens at Welbeck have changed over time, read the accounts of Arthur Buckingham who worked in the Welbeck Gardens from 1934-1984.