On your visit to Sherborne take some time to explore the towns peaceful and historical gardens. Relax and enjoy a picnic or take a well-earned break from your day of shopping or sightseeing.
Opened in 2005, Paddock Garden commemorated 1300 years since the founding of Sherborne Abbey and town.
The garden was built for the people of Sherborne to enjoy and complements Pageant Gardens which is found at the opposite end of the town and was designed to celebrate the twelfth centenary of the town.
Residents of Sherborne were involved in the creation of Paddock Garden from start to finish, including the design and naming the garden.
At the opposite end of town from Paddock Garden is Pageant Gardens - officially opened to the public on 5 September 1906. The money needed for the garden was raised by the Pageant of 1905. This Pageant was held in the grounds of the Old Castle and celebrated the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the town.
Pageant Gardens are still formally laid out and includes a bandstand, which was refurbished in 1996 and is used by the Sherborne Town Band as a venue for very popular summer concerts. The park is also a popular spot for picnickers.
In 2021 the gardens underwent some big changes; four new water features and some new wood carvings were added to the gardens. The new water features included an area of differently sized, stacked, slate spheres, a spillway bowl and basin, 3 bubbling rocks and a main waterfall with secret pond. The wood carvings were created by Rob Beckinsale Chainsaw Carving and Sculpture, they include a man along with an owl and a squirrel. See if you can spot them.
Sir Walter Raleigh built the ‘new’ Sherborne Castle in 1594 and his original lodge forms the core of the present structure. Accused of treason, Sir Walter died on the block and his estates were forfeited to the Crown. King James I allowed Sir John Digby to purchase the Castle in 1617 and it has been the stately home of the Digby family ever since. During the Civil War, the neighbouring Old Castle was reduced to a ruin and the name Sherborne Castle transferred to the new building.
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown created the 50-acre lake in 1753 and developed much of the current gardens and parkland into one of his finest lakeland landscapes. Explore 42 acres of English landscaped garden including herbaceous borders, magnificent specimen trees and sweeping vistas.
Visitors are welcome to picnic in the gardens, with picnic tables provided in designated areas. There is unlimited free parking for coaches and cars. Sherborne Castle and Gardens is open from 1st April until 31st October. Dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens.
A little further afield, about 10 minutes drive south of Sherborne is Minterne Gardens. Minterne Gardens were landscaped in the manner of 'Capability' Brown in the 18th century. The gardens are laid out in a horseshoe below the Elizabethan-styled Minterne House with a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams.
The gardens contain a unique collection of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas with spring bulbs, cherries, maples and many fine and rare trees. The garden is especially noted for its spring and autumn colours. The house isn’t open to the public, but the gardens are open from February to November.
Get outdoors on your visit and see what you discover.
A magnificent Abbey, picturesque Almshouses and two castles, Sherborne is steeped in history.
Your four legged friend will love visiting Sherborne.
Sherborne has a fascinating history with plenty of ancient and beautiful buildings.