Dyffryn Gardens

Dyffryn Gardens can be located in St. Nicholas near Cardiff, Postcode CF5 6SU not far from Culverhouse Cross.

Dyffryn Gardens are considered by CADW to be among the best, if not the best, Edwardian gardens in Wales. The gardens consist of formal lawns, intimate smaller gardens within the grounds itself, a glasshouse and the main house itself.

The garden of the setting contains several smaller gardens which include 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 to 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.

 The Great Lawn ends with a fountain pool. The two bronze statues 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.

Throughout the gardens are statues, many with a motif of people with animals. These include a life-size prone stone lion, a terracotta statue of a palm-bearing female and to the rear of the house outside the visitor centre is a large bronze of a mandarin riding a bull.

The present Dyffryn House was built in 1893–94 under the ownership of John Cory, by architect E.A. Lansdowne of Newport,  and was one of the last large country manors to be built in Wales.  A long narrow mansion, the architectural style is vaguely Second French Empire. The main entrance, located on the north side of the building, is protected by a porte-cochere, which leads into a lofty hall.  The windows looking out over the driveway from the Hall depict Elizabeth I at Tilbury. The hall also features the most notable of the manor’s impressive chimneypieces; incorporating at its centre a late 17th-century marble cartouche of arms flanked by life-size wooden Mannerist figures of Ceres and Prudence.  Other rooms of note include the Oak Room, whose chimneypiece is flanked by cross-legged cherubim, each with six wings. The drawing room and boudoir have Jacobean alabaster mantle-pieces.

Dyffryn Gardens is a peaceful place to visit, with plenty to see and do for all members of the family. There is a play section for children, tea rooms of which there are two and a shop where you can purchase plants grown on site.

Dyffryn is a place where I like to visit at different times of the year, through Spring flowers, Autumn foliage and at New Year they even put on a light display to light up the gardens which is a must to be seen.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Adrian, I found you through our shared friend, Mark G Adams.
    Your pictures look amazing, followed you straight away, looking forward to seeing more of your work!
    Regards, Marc from O.S.P.

    Like

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