The Gardens and Grounds

Visitors to Hodsock Priory are greeted by an impressive Tudor Gatehouse at the end of the mile long drive. The Grounds are lovingly maintained and the formal gardens have been carefully cultivated by Lady Buchanan and her dedicated team so that there should be something in bloom during all seasons.

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse is one of the most striking features of the Hodsock Estate.

There are lots of gaps in the history of the Gatehouse, but here are a few interesting facts on one of the most important buildings in Nottinghamshire:

The Gatehouse and bridge is the oldest surviving building on the estate. It dates back to the 16th century and is now a Grade 1 listed building.

The Gatehouse is one of three remaining Tudor brick built buildings in Nottinghamshire, making it a rare find and of significant historical importance.

Hodsock’s proximity to the Great North Road and the Royal Castle at Tickhill meant there was a series of Royal visits throughout the 13th century from King John, Henry III and Edward I.

The Gatehouse in winter
The Gatehouse brickwork and lead windows

Between 1876 and 1925, the upper floors and roof were used as a weather station – daily records were taken of weather conditions by Henry Mellish.

Most recently, the Gatehouse was used as a garden store, to support the work of the Land Girls during World War Two.

Nowadays, the beautiful redundant turrets and towers appear on wedding photos and in magazines across the globe and provide a great wow factor on entering the house and gardens.

The Gatehouse approached from the drive
Hodsock Priory Garden

The Gardens

Hodsock and Snowdrops are synonymous. Mention the estate to anyone and our famous winter gardens will be the first thing they associate with the name.

Each February, some 20,000 visitors come to Hodsock Snowdrops. They stroll through millions of Galanthus and Cyclamen flowers, enjoy light lunches and afternoon tea and browse the plant sales and Snowdrop souvenirs.

Our fine gardens remain nurtured throughout the year and the spring and summer blooms are picture perfect. The river runs from the lake through the grounds and our pretty bridges are a great feature joining the lawns and woodland areas.

The Woodland Walks are suitable for all abilities and in good weather are passable with wheelchairs and buggies.

View of Hodsock grounds in winter
Snowdrop at Hodsock Priory
Snowdrop gardens
Snowdrops at Hodsock Priory
View of Hodsock grounds in winter
The Italian Terrace at Hodsock
Summer gardens
Pink roses
The Winter Gardens at Hodsock
Flowerpots at Hodsock
The Victorian Greenhouse at Hodsock
Snowdrops and Beech Trees
The Fan Lawn in June
Bluebells at Hodsock
Daffodils at Hodsock
Spring Gardens at Hodsock
Cyclamen coum
Snowdrop doubles
Daffodils Cyclamen and beehives
Peonies at Hodsock
Cyclamen and Silver Birch
Snowdrops in front of the Priory
The Lake

Winter Gardens at Hodsock

Surrounding the house itself, are 5 acres of formal gardens, landscaped in the 1820s.

Beyond the North Lawn and over the stream, you’ll find the 12 acre Horsepasture Wood (already established on our earliest map, dated 1725), containing some veteran oak trees that are over 400 years old.

As a spring visitor, it’s here that you’ll experience a stunning carpet of Snowdrop blooms during February and March, followed by a vivid display of colour from equally impressive Bluebells, during April and May.

The formal gardens around the house are awash with winter blooms and during February, popular plant species include: Hellebores, Cyclamen, Aconites, Irises, Acers, Cornus, Sarcococca, Winter Honeysuckle and of course, Snowdrops.

Pink flowers at Hodsock

Wildlife at Hodsock

The estate is run in an environmentally friendly way and we actively encourage the protection of local habitats. 
Green Woodpeckers, Yellowhammers, Buzzards, Kestrels and owls are common at Hodsock and share the estate with resident Robins, Wrens, Nuthatches and Long Tailed Tits. The stream and lake encourage Kingfishers, dragon and damsel flies and colonies of toads and frogs.

The Victorian Style apiary houses around 50,000 bees and can be found at the bottom of the main path to the Courtyard and can be accessed from the gardens at the back of the house. In 2007, all but one of the hives was destroyed by a falling oak tree, the bees were safe and the hives, like the rest of the house were carefully restored to their former glory.

The beehives at Hodsock
Swarm of bees at Hodsock