Monday, 17 December 2012

Leonardslee Re-opening

This is the best news I've heard for a long time. This amazing Sussex grade-1 listed garden closed in 2010, much to my sadness. Now the news is that the gardens are re-opening in 2013. Little is known about the new owner, but to my relief it would appear the gardens have been developed further, and many deer have been purchased for the wider estate. I've also heard whisperings of a new restaurant. For those of you who have not visited, it has the most amazing collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, gathered around a series of lakes. The rock garden is just breathtaking:


When I hear any more news of the re-opening I'll be sure to post it here! Can't wait to visit this iconic garden again.

29 comments:

  1. This garden must look wonderful especially in the spring when all those rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom. Thank for letting us know of its re-opening!

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  2. Wow. That doesn't look real. I'm looking forward to reading more about this garden.

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  3. I do hope this is true, but rumours of its reopening have been circulating for two years now. There's even a website purporting to belong to the garden.

    Care to divulge the source of these latest rumours?

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    1. It's on the official website, and was announced on BBC Radio Sussex last Sunday on the 'Diggit' gardening programme.

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  4. According to the West Sussex Gazette, no timetable is suggested for the reopening but, given the amount of work set out in their application for planning permission and listed building consent, fans of public gardens should probably be prepared to wait for a year or two.

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    1. As long as I can dream about visiting Leonardslee once more, I can wait! Thanks for the update.

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    2. Has it not occurred to anyone that they only said they'd open the garden in order to get the planning application passed?

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    3. Three years later and it is beginning to look that way.

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    4. Such a shame since I moved to Horsham 3 years ago been wanting to go and see the gardens. Might just sneek in. We are 5 years on now nearly. When this was up for sale west Sussex council should of acquired it or national parks. Bit selfish to keep the garden hidden all these years.

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  5. What about the Beyond the Doll House exhibition that was also a feature

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  6. What excellent news.

    Have just walked down one edge of the garden. Looking as wonderful as ever.

    Lot of work going on to establish a high deer fence.

    Michael Hill

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  7. Hi

    This is great news !

    Does anyone know who manages the gardens or who I could talk to about getting access for a possible art project?

    Lisa Meaney

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  8. This would be fantastic if true! will have to wait and see.

    I remember hearing that 2 young people bought this together: one a famous gardener whom had won awards at the Chelsea flower show for a world garden, shaped like the flat atlas with plants from each country in their own geographical places. He was kidnapped for around a year while abroad when released came back to the UK and bought and closed the gardens. I saw him talking on This Morning TV show while being interviewed about both of these topics.

    It would be great if they decided to start to use this as a venue to hold rural linked craft shows again, like it used to be. I use to demonstrate basket making here with more than one organiser. It was one of the most beautiful venues I had the pleasure of exhibiting at. I used to do very well here and I only had to travel from Worthing.

    I WOULD LOVE TO TALK TO THE OWNERS TO SEE IF THEY ARE INTERESTED IN ORGANISING A THEMED RURAL CRAFT SHOW THERE ONCE A YEAR.

    Please get in contact using my website if so www.sussexwillowbaskets.co.uk

    Stephen Caulfield

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  9. I can't wait, oh how I've missed going to this place. The gardens, wallabies, the dolls house, the lakes, I can go on. . .
    Nowhere bests st leonadslee.
    I'll keep looking for an update.

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  10. Hi

    I keep looking I would like to make contact too, as I think it is taking so long and I have only been once would love love love to go again

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  11. Can`t wait for this garden to open, beautiful should have never closed. debs of peacehaven

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  12. My parents loved these gardens and their ashes where scattered there up the time the gardens where closed our family made regular visits.It was an amazing place to wander and collect one's thoughts and be at one with nature, no matter how busy the garden was you could still find space and tranquility. I wait with bated breath regarding the reopening.
    Phil Stratton

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  13. So is there any genuine plan to reopen the gardens to the public?

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  14. They have been granted planning permission by Horsham District Council to make changes to the buildings and land. They are under no legal obligation to re-open the gardens once the work has been carried out.

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  15. That is what I thought. Maybe the council has been naive? I'd love to see it reopen but I'm not optimistic. It's tragic that such a beautiful garden is closed to the public.

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  16. I visited Leonardslee many times and the rhodedendrons were the best I have ever seen - was so upset when it closed - do hope it does re-open soon - such a beautiful place should be available for everyone not a previledged few.

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  17. What a shame still no news on these beautiful gardens re-opening as they give so much joy to so many people. Come on owners of Leonarsdslee please please let us share this beautiful place with you.

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  18. please let me know if Leonardslee Gardens will open again. Chris Rudrum

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  19. doesn't appear to be anything going on there, looks very overgrown from the outside.

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    1. If this is overgrown it seems to me that it would have been a Middle Eastern buyer who when purchases never looks after a property.

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  20. Hi, does anyone know what happened to the "beyond the doll's house" exhibition that was at Leonardslee? I'm hoping it didn't stay in the house and can still be seen somewhere.

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    1. Just been by the old entrance and see a For Sale board. Any information anyone?

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  21. Are these beautiful gardens gong to ever reopen PLEASE ????

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  22. WHO EVER OWNS THESE BEAUTIFUL GAEDENS PLEASE CAN YOU TELL US ???

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