Avenue at historic house near Kettering to be restored to former glory

The Boughton House Estate
The Boughton House Estate

A grand avenue on Kettering’s historic Boughton Estate will soon be restored to its 18th Century splendour.

Works will begin this winter to establish 100 native ‘Hatfield Tall’ lime trees to a 1km stretch of Warkton Avenue at the 11,000 acre estate.

It will mark a significant step in the ongoing project to restore the historic formal landscape at the stately home of the Dukes of Buccleuch, which has also seen the re-establishment of the Grand Etang lake, reinstatement of the Broad Walk Lime Tree Avenue and the restoration of the Great Court Canal.

The work is being undertaken in conjunction with Natural England and Historic England as part of a grant-funded 10-year Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme to continue significant restoration works at the estate.

David Cullum, parks and gardens manager at Boughton Estate, said: “This is an important avenue, connecting the house and the parkland to Geddington Chase.

“It is clearly visible locally and the trees will create an imposing presence on the skyline.

“It was historically lined with grand elm trees, planted by Duke John, the 2nd Duke of Montagu.

“However, following several historic attacks of Dutch elm disease, it will be re-planted with ‘Hatfield Tall’ lime trees – strengthening further Boughton’s likeness to the Palace of Versailles.

“We have been patiently nurturing our saplings in our on-site nursery to ensure they thrive here at the estate.

“The house itself is such a time capsule of 17th and 18th Century aesthetics and, slowly but surely, our parks and gardens are being restored to their former glory too.”

Preparatory work will begin in the autumn and include the removal of existing species that are incorrect for the creation of avenues, which will be chipped and used as an alternative fuel source on the estate’s biomass plant.

The historic home of the Duke of Buccleuch opens to the public throughout the month of August, with a specially curated Memory exhibition topping the bill this year.

Other highlights include house tours, open air theatre and cinema experiences, and entry to the gardens.