The many many trees at Thicket Priory date back to before the family moved in, and of course many were added to the grounds by the family themselves. A family that travelled a lot in the 1800’s would have brought back many tree samplings to plant in the gardens.
There are a few favourites at Thicket Priory, that have become characters and members of the team! Let’s tell you about them:
The Mighty Oak
The Mighty Oak stands loud and proud for guests to see when arriving at Thicket Priory. The best view of the Mighty Oak is when the the colours of a beautiful Yorkshire sunset are pictured as a backdrop!
The bedrooms on the West Wing get the best views, from Uncle Monty’s to Edward’s rooms all guests residing in the rooms can admire the Oak tree with stunning views of the Yorkshire Countryside.
The Californian Redwood
The Califonian Redwood in the grounds is the tallest tree…but it hides a secret!
From a distance the views of the Redwood are spectacular, but when you get a little closer you may discover the new residents that have moved in during lockdown. We have yet to see the residents themselves, but the evidence is overwhelming. There are steps up to a welcome mat, inside a staircase and hanging on the wall the Mona Lisa…finished off with an upstairs apartment so they can hide away from prying eyes!
Our orchard is the perfect back drop to the Bandstand for anyone choosing the say their vows in the Garden. The orchard is filled with apple trees which the nuns would make apple chutney, apple pies and I’m sure many more tasty things to eat.
We are proud to be part of the BBC Countryfile ‘Plant Britain’, by recording 10 new trees planted in the orchard only last week. We have added 5 new pear trees and 5 new plum trees.
Over the years there have been many more trees planted around the grounds by the Thicket Priory team…these are covered later in the blog!
The Tree Swing
One of the most iconic trees by the lake in the Gardens is the Tree Swing Oak Tree. According to Mervyn Dunnington-Jefferson who lived at Thicket Priory as a child before the Priory become a monastery, there is a capsule underneath the tree that was planted for him when the tree originally found it’s home here.
The tree is now more famously used for gorgeous photos on our tree swing!
The Driveway / The Conifers / Hedges
There have been a number of ‘landscaping changes’ made to adapt what was historically a family home into the stunning North Yorkshire Wedding & Events Venue it is today.
From replanting the gaps in the avenue of trees in the driveway, this is such a powerful way of greeting all guests who visit us. Becca often talks about when she first started working at Thicket Priory and how amazing it was to drive toward the building passing all the beautiful trees, with small glimpses of the Victorian redbrick as you get closer.
Conifers and hedges have been added to make the arrival even more beautiful. Conifers used to hide our ‘staff quarters’ and new hedges used to hide away our carpark.
Alex does a superb job as our resident gardener in keeping all trees, hedges and grasses pruned and looking well manicured…however also with a wildness in the gardens that is truly in-keeping with our surroundings of the Wheldrake Ings Nature Reserve.
A few others…
Around the gardens as you explore there are hundreds of photo opportunities for the keen photographer or nature lover. There is one iconic view from the bridge across the lake which has changed during lockdown. The view from across the lake used to be host to a large branchless tree, still standing, only just…however the tree finally gave in to the test of time and fell during the Summer of 2020.
Other amazing views include the morning misty across the lake making the trees feel magical, and also the reflections of the lake on a calm day makes us feel like there are a hundred more trees to discover.
The Christmas Tree!
We couldn’t publish a blog about trees at Christmas without showing off one most festive one! A usual Christmas at Thicket Priory would see many more Christmas Trees, but this year we have had just the one to meet and greet the guests who attended our Winter Tasting Menu evening! Our favourite tree ornament is definitely the one given to us as a Christmas gift from Mr & Mrs’s Wheatley, est, 14th October, 2020!
Carla Whittingham Photography
Steven Mcdonald Photography
Phoebe Jane Photography