A historic walled garden will be open next weekend to raise funds for Richmond’s new music and heritage festival.

The gates of Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden in Richmond will open from 1pm to 5.30pm on Sunday, June 25.

During the afternoon local musicians Trouvere will be playing in the garden, alongside Richmond-based folk duo Evie and James. Local artist, Judi Allinson will set up her easel to paint flowers and trees from life in the garden.

The event is in aid of Richmond MayFest, and will be formally opened by Baroness Harris of Richmond, a trustee of the festival, who will welcome visitors and give a little background to MayFest, and the history of the garden.

It was built by John Yorke II, who lived with his wife, Anne, in a 17th Century mansion, which stood near the Green by the banks of the River Swale. Their Richmond estate included the house, stables (now the car park on the Green), formal gardens (much loved by Anne), the walled kitchen garden, the Green Walk, Culloden Tower and Temple Grounds.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Mr. Yorke’s Walled Garden, Richmond, from the air

Mr. Yorke’s family mansion was demolished in the early 19th Century, and the Walled Garden was later used as a market garden. In the 1980s it was planted with a variety of interesting saplings that were to be grown on for sale, but many were left and are now mature.

The current owners, Dennis and Marcia McLuckie have retained trees and, where possible, the outline of the original paths, whilst restoring and redesigning the garden. The garden extends to over an acre and has mature deciduous and coniferous trees, shrubs, fruit trees old and new, lawns, parterres, herbaceous borders, roses, ponds, a stream and a vegetable garden. 

Darlington and Stockton Times: Dennis McLuckie pruning the roses

The garden continues to develop with new hedges and more roses added since the last opening in 2021, and a summer house is in progress.

Marcia said: “There is still much to do – a whole area of uncharted territory still awaits our attention!

"We won’t pretend the garden is perfect and weed free - it is a lot to keep on top of between the two of us and Iris, who helps for a few hours each week, but we want to share the garden rather than keep it secretly behind its enormous walls.

"We also want to give support to local charites and opening the garden is an enjoyable way for us and our visitors to help. It feels more like a garden party than anything more formal.”

Next year will see the third Richmond MayFest, which started in 2022 and is now a registered charity with a board of trustees. All money raised at the open day will go to supporting the growing Richmond event.

Chair of trustees, Gill Page said: “All of us at MayFest are thrilled to be the charity chosen for this opening of Mr Yorke’s Walled Garden and are looking forward so much to a perfect summer afternoon of flowers, cakes and music.”

Mr. Yorke’s Walled Garden, is at Cravengate, Richmond, DL10 4RE. Admission for adults is £6. Children under 16 are admitted free. Homemade cakes and refreshments will be on sale. Cash payments only.

There is no parking at the garden. Visitors are asked to park in Newbiggin, the Market Place or car parks at Nuns Close and The Green. The garden is on a hill. Main grass paths are accessible with a wheelchair, but they are quite steep.

Also on June 25, The Original Richmond in Bloom Plant Sale is being held in Richmond Market Place starting at 11am.