Hanham Court stands on what was the Via Julia or Julian Road above the River Avon at an ancient ferry crossing. The road runs from Bath to the Roman port at Avonmouth, when the Romans conquered the country in A.D. 43 they made a road, the Via Julia, from the city of Bath, passing through the forest to Sea Mills, then to the Severn where a ferry carried the legions across to Caerwent in Wales.
Historically and architecturally there is evidence at the site from almost every century since the Norman Conquest. What was essentially a solid Norman House has been embellished over many generations with Early English, Tudor and 18th and 19th century alteration and additions. Nevertheless, some historians think that there was a manor house here, possibly wooden, as early as Saxon times.
Hanham Court has been the family home of Richard and Julia Boissevain since 2015. They have thrown themselves into the continued restoration and preservation of these beautiful gardens, which were developed and designed by the previous owners, renowned garden designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman. Over a period of fifteen years they created a deeply romantic and scented garden. The formal garden has luscious borders of old roses, tree peonies, lilies and fountains. The woodland garden includes a stream, pools, snowdrops, tree ferns, and magnolias. Outside of the walls lies a miniature park, a downland of wild flower meadows overlooking the River Avon and an orchard.
The gardens were first opened to the public in 2008 and over the past few years many people have visited and enjoyed the gardens, which are open on selected weekends for the National Gardens Scheme and for our Fair. In 2011 Hanham Court Garden was voted ‘No.1 Dreamy Garden’ by the BBC Gardens Illustrated Magazine.
Now in their 24th season, Rare Plant Fairs are held in beautiful and prestigious gardens, each with its own unique character, from those with histories stretching back centuries to more modern gardens created in recent years. A day out at one of our fairs a really enjoyable and inspiring experience for everyone, whether a novice or experienced gardener.
The nurseries that attend our Fairs are carefully selected to ensure that they are genuine growers who produce most or all of the plants that they sell themselves. We try offer the widest possible range of plants to our visitors, including perennials, shrubs and trees, alpines, bulbs and exotic plants, and all of our nursery owners are experts in the plants that they grow. They are all always happy to offer all the advice that you need to select and grow the right plants for your garden.
The fair will be open from 11am to 4pm, and adult entry to the fair and garden is just £5. Refreshments are available. Please note that no dogs are allowed in the Garden or Plant Fair (except assistance dogs)
Full details, including a list of the nurseries attending the event, can be found at www.rareplantfair.co.uk
Hanham Court Ferry Road Hanham Abbots Nr. Bristol BS15 3NT