South African based entrepreneur Penny Streeter OBE has acquired the 200 acre Leonardslee Gardens estate at Lower Beeding
Before Leonardslee Gardens was closed to public access in 2010, the landscaped woodland gardens attracted some 50,000 visitors a year. They were first planted in 1801 and are noted for the outstanding spring displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and bluebells.
Visitors were also attracted by a unique doll’s house exhibition, depicting the Edwardian estate and neighbouring villages at 1/12th scale, and also a rare colony of wallabies that have grazed in the gardens for over a century.
Penny Streeter is the owner of the Benguela Collection vineyard and hospitality group. It includes the 400 acre Mannings Heath Golf Course and Wine Estate, located eight miles from Leonardslee, and Benguela Cove vineyard in South Africa, as well as four restaurants and a hotel on the Garden Route.
Leonardslee features a 19th-century Italianate style house, listed Grade II for architectural merit. The gardens are listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. They cover 200 acres of a steep sandstone valley, in which there are a series of seven man-made ponds. The site includes two alpine glasshouses, in need of refurbishment. A rock garden near the house was built in 1890 by the well-known Victorian landscaping company James Pulham and Son.
An opening date is to be announced.
Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PP.Enjoy more Kitchen Garden reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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