Dyffryn Estate & Gardens

Cardiff, United Kingdom

Dyffryn Gardens is an estate and collection of botanical gardens located near the villages of Dyffryn and St. Nicholas.

The Dyffryn Estate dates back to 640 A.D. when the Manor of Worlton was granted to Bishop Oudoceus of Llandaff. In the 16th century the Manor of Worlton was rented under copyhold by the Button family who occupied the estate for a number of generations.

The name of the Manor of Worlton was changed to the Manor of Dyffryn, St Nicholas in the 18th century when the Dyffryn Estate was sold to Thomas Pryce, who built the second building to be known as Dyffryn House, a Georgian manor, on the site in 1749. Although no extensive work was undertaken to the grounds, Pryce did begin some additions, including the construction of the walled garden, dipping pools and some ornamental plantings.

In 1891 the Dyffryn Estate was sold to John Cory by the then owner, a banker named Henry Ellis Collins. Cory then began construction of the present house in 1893. Later, Thomas Mawson, a well-known landscape architect and first president of the Institute of Landscape Architecture, was commissioned to design a garden to complement the new house; landscaping began in 1894 and was completed in 1909. The National Trust took over stewardship of Dyffryn House and Gardens on a 50-year lease from the Vale of Glamorgan Council in January 2013.

Today, Dyffryn Gardens is a visitor attraction open all year round, 363 days a year. The gardens are accessed via the admissions building, which also houses a shop and an attached tea-room. From here the gardens are divided into three main areas, the arboretum, Dyffryn House and its lawns and the Garden Rooms.

Gardens

The eastern and largest section of the gardens contains the arboretum that begins with the kennel bank, leading to the rockery. The central section, which divides the arboretum in the east from the Garden Rooms to the west, contains Dyffryn House and its lawns, beginning with the house to the north extending southwards to the Vine Walk, a series of arches each containing a different species of vine. The two main lawns include the croquet lawn, closest to Dyffryn House, which runs east to west parallel to the main building, and the Great Lawn. The Great Lawn runs north–south and at its centre a longitudinal canal, which has at its centre a large bronze fountain. The fountain is in Chinese style and has a bronze Chinese Dragon wrapped around it; thought to be from the 1950s. The Great Lawn ends with a fountain pool, for which there is currently a fundraising drive to repair. The two bronze statues, Fujin and Raijin, Japanese Shinto gods of wind and lightning, that used to be here are now housed in the glass houses. At the southern end of the lawns is the Vine Walk, and Lavender Garden, the latter containing a red brick folly.

The final section of the gardens is the Garden Rooms, a series of terraced themed gardens. The 'rooms' contain an Italian Terrace, Australasian and Mediterranean Gardens, each containing plants from their respective regions. Other areas include a physic garden, rose garden, reflecting pool and Pompeian gardens. The Pompeiian gardens, entered via an archway dated 1909, were originally inspired by Reginald Cory's trips to Italy.

Throughout the gardens are statues, many with a motif of people with animals.

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Details

Founded: 19th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Leslie Howells (2 years ago)
Opted for a route through the higher ground today on our visit to Dyffryn Gardens, near Cardiff. The delighted cries of play coming from the lower garden areas from the many younger visitors enjoying half term holidays made this a good idea! Trees and shrubbery in good foliage and display. A welcome treat was to witness the extensive wildflower display introduced by NT since last year. The rockery, too was impressive. Good food in cafe. Friendly and helpful staff. Transport available from Entrance to House.
Mr Paul (2 years ago)
Looking forward to all the volunteers returning and continuing their excellent work in the gardens. Still a wonderful place for a few hours. Returned March 25th . It was wonderful here today, Carpets of Daffodils all sorts of blooms and families enjoying the peace and tranquility. Lots of Mum's and Dad's and Grandparents with Babies and Toddlers matching the spring feeling and new life ....Wonderful
Dawn Bennett (2 years ago)
Beautiful place. Lovely surroundings. Wish the house was open. Would have loved a wander round. Used the cafe. Coffee was nice . Sandwich was ok. A little overpriced as theses places are. Had a lovely few hours here.
Barbara Mękwińska (3 years ago)
Well hidden but a proper treasure. Very well kept and looked after. Plenty to do with kids and perfect for a date. Beautiful, romantic. Just perfect. And the team are extremely creative.
Ella Jenkins (3 years ago)
I have been looking for different places to go during the pandemic that are covid-secure. Spent a lovely afternoon at Dyffryn Gardens in the sunshine. They have put in place one-way routes to keep everyone safe and it was very quiet when we were there. Will definitely go back!
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