Mount Grace Priory

An Arts and Crafts garden designed by our favourite green-fingered guru Chris Beardshaw has taken centre stage at Mount Grace Priory.

The award-winning gardener’s creation is now the focal point of the popular year-round group travel destination, which has benefited from a £1.3m English Heritage redesign and upgrade of its gardens and a newly-built café.

Chris, a star speaker at last year’s Group Leisure Travel Show at the NEC, gives a nod to the style established at the house and gardens in North Yorkshire by Victorian industrialist Sir Lowthian Bell.

His inspirational work highlights the terracing at the front of the house and features new beds, paths and improved access. He advised on the choice of plants¬ – supplying many himself – to reflect the historic legacy of the property.

Chris said: “The ‘reawakening’ of the gardens was a huge, exciting and complex task that offers rewards for visitors on their own modern day pilgrimage to this extraordinarily rich historic location.”

Chris Beardshaw

Pictured: Chris Beardshaw.

Other highlights at Mount Grace Priory include what is believed to be the only example in England of a monk’s cell garden, which has recently been planted.

It was created using monastic records and archaeological research of the original 15th century complex.

Patron of the arts Sir Lowthian Bell lived in the manor house in the 19th century. The property was once the abbott’s guest house in the original Carthusian monastery. Spy and traveller Gertrude Bell – Sir Lowthian’s granddaughter – often spent weekends at there.

The English Heritage garden’s makeover features an array of iris, peonies, ferns, azaleas and the rare Chilean fire bush, among others, and the house’s front gardens now link with its interiors.

Centuries ago, Carthusian monks, who remained silent for all but one hour each week, lived in individual cells at Mount Grace Priory. Their cell garden had four purposes – contemplation, medicine, utility and beauty – and was an important part of each monk’s life.

They grew medicinal herbs and vegetables to supplement their diet and flowers to create an individual ‘heavenly paradise’. 

Group discounts

Groups of 11 or more receive a discount at English Heritage properties and events. One tour leader and one coach driver are admitted free with each group (and do not count towards group numbers). Special themed tours are available for pre-booked groups at many properties.  

Opportunities for group visits can be discussed by calling 0117-9751349 or emailing

Booking details

Mount Grace Priory, House and Garden, Staddlebridge, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 3JG

Telephone: 01609-883494

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