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Open day at The Gardens of Easton Lodge on Sunday July 16





Take in the splendour and the history of The Gardens of Easton Lodge at its open day on Sunday July 16.

As well as enjoying the beauty of the gardens near Great Dunmow, visitors can learn all about its important wartime roles.

The event will also feature 1940s-inspired music and entertainment as well as displays of military vehicles and vintage cars.

Waterlilies are said to symbolise beauty, purity and enlightenment
Waterlilies are said to symbolise beauty, purity and enlightenment

The Earl of Warwick helped train local men in the run up to the First World War and in 1942, during the Second World War, an airfield was built in the parkland surrounding Easton Lodge while the gardens were a place of relaxation and solace for the airmen and women stationed there.

Peto’s 1902 Italian garden is designed around its central 100ft lily pond, which originally had 20 varieties of waterlily - often said to symbolise beauty, purity and enlightenment. Since the trust’s restoration of the balustrade in 2021, visitors have once again been able to enjoy the lilies from up close and to pose and repose there, as did those serving with the USAAF, RAF and WAAF all those years ago.

There will be plenty for children and their families to do, including a trail, craft activities and the chance to climb up to the reconstruction of the Countess of Warwick’s treehouse.

Members of the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) at the gardens
Members of the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) at the gardens

The trust volunteers’ hard work means the Historic England Grade II-registered gardens will be looking their magnificent best on the day.

The walled kitchen garden is well stocked with squashes and pumpkins rampant, ringed by beds of soft fruit, herbs, cut flowers and a magnificent dahlia border while the glade’s old trees are complemented by newer plantings and its long-lost 1902 Japanese-style gardens and teahouse have inspired current designs around the rill pond and the tenboudai looking onto the fishing lake.

The glade also includes the Stirling Memorial Walk commemorating RAF servicemen and women based at the wartime airfield in Easton Park.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy a range of hot and cold refreshments served by the trust’s volunteers.

Military vehicles and vintage cars will be on display
Military vehicles and vintage cars will be on display

The gardens will be open from 11am to 5pm, with last entry at 4pm. Adult tickets cost £5.50 in advance and £6.50 on the gate. Children under 16 get in free. Dogs on leads are welcome. See www.eastonlodge.co.uk or www.trybooking.com to buy tickets.



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