Walled gardens are fascinating. They hide beauty and colours from the eye of the passers-by and they create mystery. Bangor Castle walled garden has just re-opened its gates after Winter and it was one of the few close-by places that we had never visited before. This morning we decided to go and discover what’s behind the wall.
The castle is an Elizabethan-Jacobean mansion house attached to an earlier abbey. As the story goes, the abbey was founded in around 555AD by St. Comgal. The building was destroyed in the 9th century by the Danes and rebuilt in 1120 after which it was used by Franciscan monks until the abbey was dissolved in 1542. The manor house on the site was completed in 1852 for the Honorable Robert Edward Ward. Bangor Borough Council acquired the castle and it became the Town Hall. It is now the seat of its successor the North Down Borough Council and it also hosts the North Down Museum and a lovely cafeteria.
We arrived at the castle early enough in the morning. We walked around the castle and gardens, enjoying the blossoms on the trees, but the walled garden was still closed. As it was quite cold, we stopped at the cafeteria for a hot coffee and some pastries. We then walked through the museum to gain our way out of the castle and found it very pleasant to see. You can find lot of information on the history of Bangor and its Saints, reconstructions of the early settlements and all sort of memorabilia.
When we walked back to the walled garden we found it open. We spent one odd hour exploring it; we found it relaxing and full of surprising corners. The walled garden used to provide vegetables and herbs for the Ward family. Today you can still see rhubarb and all sort of herbs along one side of the wall, which might give you some ideas to copy for your home herbs and self-grown veggies.
Once back at the parking lot, the sun was coming out and it was so pleasant that we decided to continue our stroll down to the Bangor Marina. In a lazy day like this, it was the perfect thing to enjoy the suburbs life.
After this visit, we have started to think how to clean up our backyard and grow our veggies along the fence. Hopefully, the weather will give us a hand…