Last chance to Derbyshire hall grounds

John and Cynthia Ramsden with garden visitors
John and Cynthia Ramsden with garden visitors

A COUPLE are opening up one of the most popular private gardens in the region for the last time ahead of their 60th anniversary.

John and Cynthia Ramsden live at Fanshawe Gate Hall in Holmesfield, Derbyshire, and are bowing out from raising money under the National Gardens Scheme.

The grounds at the 13th-century hall feature traditional cottage borders with stone features, a dovecote and a 400-year-old tithe barn.

Resident ducks and hens also proved popular with younger visitors.

Since 1995, the Ramsdens have raised more than £85,000 for good causes including Macmillan Cancer Relief, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Christian Aid and the Oesophageal Patients Association.

Cynthia raised £10,000 herself by scaling Mont Blanc 13 years ago after making a full recovery from oesophageal cancer.

John, aged 84, and Cynthia, 81, are celebrating their diamond wedding in August and the final three garden openings are this Sunday, July 1, as well as July 8 and 15.

Cynthia said: “It’s been a great privilege to live at Fanshawe Gate for over 50 years and to have welcomed so many visitors from all over the world. Some visit to gather ideas for their own gardens, others enjoy a bit of peace in a secluded, shady corner and many return year after year with family and friends.”

Irene Dough, county organiser for the gardens scheme, said the Fanshawe Gate grounds were a ‘wonderful tranquil space’.

The garden opens from 11am to 5pm.

Tickets cost £3 for adults, under-15s go free. Refreshments include coffee, tea and ploughman’s lunches.

Music will be provided from 2pm on July 8 by the Blue Note Jazz Trio, playing in the upper courtyard.