Herb Garden, Vineyard & Maze
Immediately in front of the Castle are two walled gardens which have been laid out along medieval lines, but reduced somewhat in size and scale. The herb garden contains over fifty varieties of culinary and medicinal herbs, all of which were in common cultivation in the medieval period. These include betany, bugloss, yarrow, thyme, comfrey, tansy and loveage. This enclosed garden is a sun trap which heightens the aroma of many herbs, particularly in the early evening.
Vines were first brought to this country by the Romans after AD280 when Emperor Probus decreed that vines could be grown outside Italy to give his troops something to do when they were not on duty. Although historically there would not have been a vineyard this far north, the one recently established in the lee of the castle is stocked with a modern hybrid, frost hardy and early ripening variety of red grape, Vitis Vinifera x Vitis Amurensis. In time, this small vineyard should produce up to 1000 bottles of wine a year.
The private maze was planted in time to reach maturity for the year 2000 millennium celebrations.