Erlas Victorian Walled Garden provides opportunities for people with additional needs and has been doing so for 20 years.
A Willow Circle
Set on the grounds of a Victorian garden, the principal aim of the Erlas charity is to offer meaningful activities to beneficiaries with a range of additional needs, including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, being on the autistic spectrum and also mental health requirements.
The historic garden requires constant maintenance and the reclamation of several areas still awaiting restoration. The beneficiaries contributing to the preservation of a beautiful setting develop skills and knowledge in garden maintenance and plant and vegetable production.
Features include the rebuilt Victorian walls, an apple orchard and a willow circle. There is also a nature walk incorporating a wildlife pond and a working garden with flowers, vegetables and fruits. As a therapeutic garden, it supports mental well-being, aids communication, facilitates social networking and develops a community. The charity relies on grants and fundraising events so every penny is essential.
A Brief History
The maps of 1838 show an existing garden, although we don’t know much more about this early period. The existing Bryn Estyn House replaced an earlier Georgian house belonging to the Wrexham Lloyd banker family.
Frederick Soames, the wealthy owner of a Wrexham brewery, commissioned a mock Jacobean mansion and William Goldring of Kew was asked to design a garden to complement the house. His design had a temple, a loggia and also an exedra seat. Avenues of trees and reflecting Egyptian tomb gardens were planted, while dressed stone enhanced the lakeside. The walled garden was used to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers for the house.
Walled Garden Timeline
- 1786 – Gardens built for the original hall.
- 1830 – The current house replaces the original Georgian property.
- 1901 – Continued as a working garden for the hall to 1940.
- 1940 – Garden used in the education of children.
- 1984 – Hall and gardens closed.
- 2000 – Individuals aware of the garden and its history secure European Funding to restore the site.
- 2002 – Erlas Victorian Walled Garden charity formed.
A special memory about the garden comes from Dorothy Harding, whose father was head gardener from 1906 to 1927. She remembers how he always used to bring his wife the first rose of summer from the garden. He would come home with it hidden under his Panama or trilby hat, remove the hat and present his wife with the flower!
The Garden is on Bryn Estyn Road, just past Wrexham Rugby Club (LL13 9TY). We welcome visitors from Monday to Friday, 11am to 3pm, to purchase plants and seasonal vegetables. We also sell beautiful confetti lovingly created from dried flowers taken straight from the garden. For further information or a referral form please contact 01978 265 058 or firstname.lastname@example.org.