Morland House is set in four acres of Victorian landscaped walled gardens laid out around Morland Beck which flows through the middle of the grounds from an impressive waterfall (or “Force“) at the top end via stepping stones, a wooden bridge, two more waterfalls, and the newly commissioned Orchard bridge. It has many hidden corners and features, like the "stone zoo", and is fun for young and old.
The garden was the subject of a Cumbria Life feature (PDF, 5MB).
On the house side is a grassy Beck Walk under natural cliffs which stretch all along the length of the garden. Across the wooden bridge and stepping stones is the Quarry Garden which features pools and beds laid out on the floor of an old quarry, a real suntrap in summer. There is also a Grotto, a standing stone memorial to Canon Gervase Markham, a fine view of the waterfall, and a top walk at a higher level around the quarry rim.
The red wrought iron bridge, built in memory of Gervase Markham (1978-2018), crosses to the orchard and ‘Fort Tumbledown’ for the delight of youngsters.
In front of the house are extensive lawns including a maintained croquet lawn, on which guests are welcome to play with equipment provided. Beyond is an attractive four-sided rose garden around a stone sundial with terraces leading to a sloping path to the beck.
There is a private gate to the church, which has the only Saxon tower in the North West of England. Therefore, the house makes an excellent base for wedding parties. The garden has many splendid locations for wedding photographs, and is available free of charge to guests who rent the house.
The main part of the garden is also open to customers of the neighbouring Mill Yard Café, guests staying in other Morland Estate properties, and Friends of the Historic Houses Association. Nevertheless, the garden is never crowded. However, there is a Private Garden on the south side of the house for the exclusive use of Morland House guests, which cannot be seen from anywhere else. Accessible both from directly from the Drawing Room and from outside the Family Kitchen, it has a patio with outdoor table and chairs, a lawn, and an 1880 summerhouse. This allows for lunches or tea parties outdoors.
The garden was laid out in the 1880s, though some features are earlier and some later. Once there were six gardeners, but now there are just two part-time ladies. Still, the garden has never looked better. Starting with snowdrops and aconites in January and February, there are extensive daffodils in March, and tulips in April and May. June is the month for the rose garden, and the herbaceous borders flourish from July to October. Summer fruits may be available for guests in the right season, and apples in autumn.
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