© Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
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RHS Bridgewater

RHS Garden Bridgewater is a very remarkable site for an RHS garden. At one end, one of the most impressive terraced gardens in England, stepping down 20 m from the site of the historic Worsley New Hall to the lake. At the other, a magnificent eleven acre walled garden. In between 35 acres of woodland lying over deep,peaty, fertile soils. To the south, a long open area of parkland bounded on the south side by the Bridgewater canal. All within 20 minutes of the centre of Manchester.

The new Arrivals Building and its associated car parking are to be located on the southern edge of the site, outside the garden but giving ready access to both the walled garden and the historic house site. This approach avoids damage to the greatest asset: the structures, land form and mature trees of the garden.

The proposal for the immediate surroundings of the new Arrivals Building is intended to bring together a number of strands of the designed landscape in a single legible composition. In the broadest terms, as the visitor emerges into the garden, the walled garden is on the left and a new proposed lake is on the right. The new lake acts as a vital link between this area of the garden and the heart of the historic landscape formed by the Nesfield terraces and the old lake and also helps to deal with the considerable amounts of water in the garden.

In betweenthe lake and the walled garden is a garden that links the two and helps todirect visitors to different parts of the larger garden.

The walled garden is the pièce de résistance of the first phase of RHS Bridgewater and is comprised of walled spaces from an outer walled garden enclosed by a low wall,through an intermediate garden which has a high wall on three sides to an inner space which has high walls all around. The intention is that the garden experience parallels the spatial one,becoming gradually more intense and also more colourful.

© Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
© Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
© Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd