Gardens restored to original glory win coveted award

David Varney one of the team of four gardeners that look after the grounds at Renishaw Hall near Sheffield. '' Picture Scott Merrylees
David Varney one of the team of four gardeners that look after the grounds at Renishaw Hall near Sheffield. '' Picture Scott Merrylees
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An ITALIAN garden set on the edge of the Peak District and dating back to the 1600s has won the coveted Historic Houses Association’s Garden of the Year Award.

The formal gardens at Renishaw Hall near Sheffield were first developed by Sir George Sitwell in the 1620s, and have been cultivated by the Stilwell family every since. Now in the care of his great-granddaughter Alexandra Hayward and head gardener David Kesteven, they are enjoyed by thousands of visitors a year.

Owner Alexandra Sitwell in the grounds of Renishaw Hall near Sheffield. ''Picture Scott Merrylees

Owner Alexandra Sitwell in the grounds of Renishaw Hall near Sheffield. ''Picture Scott Merrylees

She said: “When my mother and father took on Renishaw Hall and its grounds they worked tirelessly on the restoration and redesign of the gardens to bring them back to their original glory.

“It’s wonderful to think that in the forty plus years since my parents first came to Renishaw, the gardens have today been recognised as winners of a prestigious national award like this. It’s testament to their hard work and the continuous hard work of our gardening team here at Renishaw Hall and Gardens”.

Charles Cator, deputy chairman of sponsors Christie’s International said: “It is with great pleasure that we honour Renishaw Hall Gardens which are a true testament to the dedication of the Sitwell family who, over the centuries, have carefully and dynamically nurtured this extraordinary landscape. We hope this award will encourage even more visitors to discover the magnificence of Renishaw.”