History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: A Saxon church stands within the gardens
Eight acres of wonderful formal and informal gardens make Waterperry a must-see for garden lovers. Among the most notable aspects of Waterperry is the pure herbaceous border, but there is a lot more to interest visitors, with separate rose gardens, an alpine garden, knot garden, gravel garden, rock garden, Colour Border, and Formal Garden area, plus a peaceful canal and riverside walk. The Long Walk offers over 100m of colourful borders.
Waterperry was established over 70 years ago by the School of Horticulture for Ladies. Within the gardens are two further attractions; the Museum of Rural Life, and a delightful church dating to the Saxon period.
The garden is home to the National Collection of Kabischia Saxifrage. These delightful small plants are to be found in a courtyard of raised beds designed to show off the saxifrages to full advantage, interspersed with floral alpine plants. The best time to see the saxifrages is from early spring to early summer.
Museum of Rural Life
A Georgian granary houses this museum, which features agricultural and gardening tools from days gone by. In addition, there are a wide variety of artefacts ranging from kitchen tools to decorative meat skewers, veterinary equipment, brass stamps, and alarm guns dating back over the past several hundred years. Step even further back in time through a special exhibit of medieval pottery discovered on the Waterperry estate.
The parish church of St Mary the Virgin stands close beside the manor house at Waterperry. It is an architectural treasure, which dates back to the Saxon period. The church retains its original Saxon chancel arch and stained glass dating to the early 13th century. In addition, the church boasts an unusual collection of 12th-century floor tiles.
We visited Waterperry on a sunny day in early spring. There was still quite a chill in the air despite the sunny skies, and many of the flowers were not yet in bloom, which was to be expected. Despite that we really enjoyed the gardens; there is such a delightful mix of formal and informal areas.
They were just developing a new wildflower area when we visited, and the contrast between this informal, semi-wild area with the established formal gardens was quite delightful. The gardens are not large, but there is enough to keep an avid gardener occupied for several hours, plus the rural life museum and the delightful Saxon church. I can highly recommend a visit to Waterperry.
About Waterperry Gardens
Address: Wheatley, Oxfordshire, England, OX33 1JZ
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: Off M40 at Junction 8
Website: Waterperry Gardens
OS: SP630 063
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Waterperry, St Mary's Church - 0 miles (Historic Church)
Rycote Chapel - 2.5 miles (Historic Church)
Long Crendon, St Mary's Church - 4.5 miles (Historic Church)
Long Crendon Courthouse - 4.6 miles (Historic Building)
Thame, St Mary's Church - 4.6 miles (Historic Church)
Chiselhampton, St Katherine's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Boarstall Tower - 5.1 miles (Historic Building)
Boarstall Duck Decoy - 5.1 miles (Historic Building)
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