The Weir Garden
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Remains of a Roman villa or temple by the river
Spring bulbs are a special feature, followed by wildflowers in summer, and finally Autumn colour from deciduous trees. Guided tours are available by prior arrangement. Special walks focussing on local archaeology and conservation are also available, and The Weir usually hosts an annual outdoor concert; details on the National Trust website. The paths were fairly good when I visited but I suspect they could get muddy after rain, so it really is a good idea to wear good waterproof shoes or boots.
The south-facing slope of the garden makes it perfect for a wide variety of plants, and this helps attract insects and bird-life. Kingfishers can be seen by the riverside, as can mute swans and goosanders.
At the furthest end of the garden is a wide meadow area with deck chairs and picnic tables for relaxing, while on the river bank is a River Wall built in 1929, with a riverside path accessible at low tide. There is also a fascinating hydraulic ram, which originally pumped water to the Parr's house, but now supplies water to the rockery pools.
My favourite part of the garden was the Alpine rockery, with a glorious mix of Oriental trees and shrubs which turn a brilliant red in autumn. The colours were simply amazing.
Roman RemainsThe site now occupied by The Weir has been in use for at least 2000 years. Excavations by ITV's Time Team in 2003 uncovered the fascinating remains of a large building established by the Romans, possibly by an official from nearby Kenchester town. The excavations revealed a pair of buttresses jutting out into the river which would have supported a terrace. Remains of a mosaic floor were also discovered.
A short distance from the main garden, on the opposite side of the visitor car park, is a restored walled kitchen garden that supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to the nearby National Trust properties at Croft Castle and Brockhampton. Unusually for a walled harden, there are walls only on 3 sides, while the fourth side is open to give wonderful countryside views.
The Weir definitely qualifies as a hidden gem. I would not be surprised if many people living in the Hereford area had never even heard of it. It certainly doesn't get a lot of publicity, but having visited it I can say it was one of the most enjoyable historic National Trust gardens I've ever seen. The location by the River Wye is simply superb, and the mix of colours, especially in autumn, is stunning, with bright reds, vivd yellows, and lush greens jostling for space, and glimpses of the river from almost every part of the garden. This is a place to linger and enjoy the day.
About The Weir Garden
Address: Swaishill, Herefordshire, England, HR4 7QF
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: Signposted off the A438, 4 miles west of Hereford
Website: The Weir Garden
Phone: 01981 590509
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Eaton Bishop church - 1.8 miles (Historic Church)
Brinsop, St George's Church - 1.8 miles (Historic Church)
Madley Church - 2.2 miles (Historic Church)
Mansell Lacy, St Michael's Church - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
Breinton, St Michael Church - 2.6 miles (Historic Church)
Yazor, St Mary the Virgin Church - 3.5 miles (Historic Church)
Wormsley, St Mary Church - 3.7 miles (Historic Church)
Waterworks Museum, Hereford - 4.1 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to The Weir Garden:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')