Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens are owned and managed by a small charitable Trust: Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens Trust.
The formal Gardens were ‘re-discovered’ in 1983 by West Midlands County Council planning inspectors. As soon as their importance was realised it was decided that restoration was essential and work started to clear the undergrowth and repair the vandal damage to the infrastructure.
A Trust was formed in 1985 by the West Midlands County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, Castle Bromwich Parish Council, Castle Bromwich Parochial Church Council, Bovis Homes Ltd, The National Trust and Lord Bradford. For many years these were the only members of the Trust. These members appointed Trustees who in turn co-opted other Trustees for the skills the Trust needed.
Lord Bradford gifted 7.44 acres of the gardens to the west of the Middle Terrace walk together with the entrance drive and car park. All the estate to the east of the Middle Terrace was already in the ownership of Bovis Homes who allowed the Trust access under licence to some 1.84 acres of the gardens which lie between the Hall and the Middle Terrace.
The 38 acres (12.34 hectares) of Parkland lying to the north and west of the Gardens was purchased by Birmingham City Council. Part of this is a site of special interest and known as the Castle Bromwich Wetland. Currently this area, although protected, is managed minimally by the Council. Nevertheless, Habitat Biodiversity Audits have been undertaken (2013) and we have worked actively with other groups, including Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, to support Hedgehog and other surveys in the area. The combination of cultivated and less cultivated areas in close proximity make this area a real haven for all kinds of wildlife.
In 2020, as part of a wider partnership with Birmingham and Solihull and the Wildlife Trusts, we won funding to support a 12month project to begin to care and minimally manage the Parkland to make sure it’s historic and natural assets were safe and protected. We hope to be able to continue that relationship and care of the wider conservation area as we go forward.
It is the Trust’s policy to restore the gardens as near as possible to the period 1680 – 1762 and distinguish between restoration and recreation. The Trust attempts to only use plants that were available to the gardeners of England by 1762. Henry Beighton’s South Prospect of the Hall and Gardens, drawn in 1726, forms an important reference.
The Trust has finished most of the restoration work in the gardens in its ownership and now also works with the owners of the other parts of the walled garden to ensure a continuity of plantation. Over time, as the Hall’s ownership and economic fortunes of some of the founding Trustees changed, the Trust in 2008 voted to extend the Trust to open membership to members. Today any Adult can become become a member of the Gardens and the Trust.
For more details about Trust membership see the next tab.
*To meet the objectives of the Trust, the Gardens have been restored on the basis of archival evidence and contemporary practice, as near as possible to the period 1680-1762, but with some later additions.
Wherever possible the Trust will only use plants that were available to the gardeners of England by 1762 and with a emphasis on species known to have been grown in the gardens at Castle Bromwich Hall.
2022 Annual General Meeting will take place on 15th September 2022, 6.30 in the Drawing Room of the Hall Hotel
For 2021 financial year accounts and Annual Report please click HERE
2022 Annual General Meeting of the Gardens Trust You can download the minutes HERE
The Earl of Bradford – a founding member trustee
Cllr. Pauline S Allen – Appointed by Castle Bromwich Parish Council,
Vacant – National Trust Appointee
George (Ted) E. Richards – co-opted following retiring from being Solihull MBC appointed
Vacant – Appointed by St. Mary & St. Margaret’s Church
Cllr. Diane Donaldson – Appointed by Birmingham City Council
Cllr Marj Bridle – Appointed by Birmingham City Council
Helen Johnson – Staffordshire Heritage Service, Co-opted
Advolly Richmond – Garden Historian and writer, co-opted
Cllr Martin McCarthy – Appointed by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Cllr Alan Feeney – Appointed by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Ian Wykes – Climate Change and Sustainability lead Telford and Wrekin Council
The Trust’s Permanent Staff
Glynis Powell – General Manager (p/t)
Sue Brain – Office and volunteer manager (p/t)
Denise Seckham – Head Gardener (f/t)
Tanya Upton – Assistant Gardener (p/t)
Oliver Pickering – Outdoors and Nature Engagement Manager (p/t)
Ann Brookman – Education Officer and Parkland Ranger (p/t)
As well as relying on volunteers to deliver all aspects of the Gardens’ services, the Trust also contracts people on a casual basis to support other functions necessary to keep the Gardens open; ie in the shop, cafe, delivery of events and partnerships and garden hires.