The RHS Garden Bridgewater will be the Royal Horticultural Society’s first new garden since 2003 when it opens in 2020 in Worsley, in the City of Salford. The garden will occupy the 62-hectare (153 acres) site of the derelict gardens of the demolished Worsley New Hall. The RHS hopes it will attract a million visitors a year.
The garden’s first curator is Marcus Chilton-Jones and the designer is landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. The project will cost £31 million, to which Salford Council is contributing £5 million. The first phase of restoration includes the walled kitchen garden, which will be designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg. Harris said the design references the Bridgewater Canal, the estate and the area’s role in industrial revolution. The RHS will also develop an education garden, a therapeutic garden, two lakes and multiple community spaces.
Worsley New Hall was completed in 1846 to designs by Edward Blore for the 1st Earl of Ellesmere whose ancestor, the Duke of Bridgewater, built the Bridgewater Canal from Worsley to Manchester in 1761. Its gardens were extensive, with terraced gardens constructed by landscape architect and artist William Andrews Nesfield. Queen Victoria and Edward VIII, stayed at the hall but it fell into disrepair during the Second World War and was demolished by a scrap merchant in 1949.