Dyffryn Gardens

Dyffryn Gardens (Welsh: Gerddi Dyffryn) is a collection of botanical gardens located near the village of St. Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. The gardens were selected by the British Tourist Authority as one of the Top 100 gardens in the UK. Dyffryn Gardens is a visitor attraction open all year round, but with a high season from the start of March to the end of November, and a reduced admission during the low season. The gardens are accessed via the admissions building, which also houses a shop and an attached tea-room. From here the Gardens are divided into three main areas, the arboretum, Dyffryn House and its lawns and the Garden Rooms.

The Dyffryn Estate dates back to 640 A.D. when the Manor of Worlton (also known as Worleton), which included St Lythans and St Nicholas, was granted to Bishop Oudoceus of Llandaff. In the 16th century the Manor of Worlton was rented under copyhold by the Button family, who are believed to have first settled at the manor at Dog Hill in Dyffryn.[2] The family's next residence, Columbar, was thought to be built on the location of Dyffryn Gardens. The Button family occupied the estate for a number of generations, producing Admiral Thomas Button who become a notable early explorer. The name of the Manor of Worlton was changed to the Manor of Dyffryn, St Nicholas in the 18th century when the Dyffryn Estate was sold to Thomas Pryce, who built the first building to be known as Dyffryn House, a Georgian manor, on the site in 1749. Although no extensive work was undertaken to the grounds, Pryce did begin some additions, including the construction of the walled garden, dipping pools and some ornamental plantings. In 1891 the Dyffryn Estate was sold to John Cory, who began construction of the present house in 1893. Later, Thomas Mawson, a well-known landscape architect and first president of the Institute of Landscape Architecture, was commissioned to design a garden to complement the new house; landscaping began in 1894 and was completed in 1909. 

In 2000 Cadw awarded these gardens Grade I status in its register of landscapes, parks and gardens of special historical interest in Wales.The Grade I citation reads "The gardens at Dyffryn are the grandest and most outstanding Edwardian gardens in Wales. They are comparable to some of the most extravagant gardens of the period in Britain.” Dyffryn House and Gardens underwent restoration in 2006 with a £8 million grant.

Source & More Information: Wikipedia, Dyffryn Gardens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyffryn_Gardens

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