The reinstatement of the gardens followed an archaeological survey in 1994. The medieval period is an interesting one from a horticultural point of view as the range of plants is quite different from today, although the variety of plants is more extensive than might be expected.
The medieval writer Albertus Magnus, who wrote his ‘De Vegetabilis et Plantis’ in 1260, describes the plants used in a medieval pleasure garden thus: that they might “refresh the sight with the variety of their flowers and…cause admiration at their manly forms in those who look at they.” In rebuilding and reinstating Bolton Castle’s gardens in Yorkshire we have tried to adhere to those principles.
When Sir Richard Scrope began building his castle in 1379, he chose his site well, overlooking the ancient Forest of Wensleydale which was well-stocked with game. By 1535 Leland, the ‘King’s Antiquary’, talks of the fine park attached to the castle, walled in with stone. A series of deer parks certainly existed, surrounded by the high walls which still survive today.