Bodnant Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in North Wales and visitors come from all corners of the globe to see it with their own eyes. The gardens are world-renowned and celebrated, for their sheer beauty, design, variety and abundance of plants. The landscape has been carved and cared for, for hundreds of years and it continues to be cherished today.
Each time you visit, you are guaranteed to discover something you didn’t notice before, or you’ll see some of the current developments and how they have changed the landscape. The grounds and hall have a rich and fascinating history, one that is still developing today! Read on to find out more about the stunning gardens and the family that created them.
Who Was Henry Pochin?
Henry Pochin was born in 1824, into a farming family from Leicestershire. In his later years, he gained an apprenticeship in Manchester with the chemist, James Woolley. Following the success of his studies, they later become partners, until Woolley became ill and died in 1858, leaving his property and laboratory to Pochin, making him the sole proprietor.
What were Henry Pochin’s Discoveries?
During his lifetime, Henry Pochin had two main discoveries, both of which were groundbreaking for the period. The first was the whitening of rosin, a substance which was used to make soap. Initially, the compound was brown and his findings led to the production of white soup. His second important invention was the production of alum cake, which was needed for paper-making and dyeing. Following the success and need for his discoveries, Pochin gained enough capital to invest in many industries, from engineering, steel, iron, coal and many more!
What Does Henry Pochin Have to Do with the Bodnant Gardens and Estate?
In 1852, Pochin married Agnes Heap, a prominent member of the women’s suffrage campaign in Manchester. The couple spent several years working for the community before they retired to North Wales in 1874. Bodnant Garden and Hall was where the couple decided to settle, they went on to have a family and began shaping the landscape of the valley and contributing to the wider community by improving farming practices and providing clean water and gas to nearby towns.
Pochin’s children shared their father’s passion for plants and gardens, and when Henry died in 1895, they continued his legacy and went on to develop the grounds. The gardens and hall remained in the family until 1949, when it was donated to the National Trust. Henry Pochin’s ancestors continue to contribute to the gardens developments, with descendant Michael McLaren the current garden director.
What Does Bodnant Stand For?
In Welsh, Bodnant translates to ‘dwelling by a stream’ which is appropriate for the location of the gardens and hall. The grounds are situated next to the Afron Hirarthlyn River, just outside of Llandudno on the North coast of Wales.
What is the Bodnant Garden Famed For?
One of the most famous and most photographed parts of the garden is the celebrated and impressive laburnum arch. The arch was created by Henry, in 1882 and is over 100 years old. The tree has green leaves from March to November, but the colourful display of flower will cover the tree during May and June.
How Big are the Gardens?
In total, there are approximately 80 acres, all of which require continual maintenance. The grounds vary, from formal gardens, wild meadows, topiary and water gardens to flower-filled borders.
How Many Champion Trees are there at the Bodnant Gardens?
There are 16 champion trees in the Bodnant Gardens! One of the tallest is a Californian Redwood, said to be planted in 1886, which towers approximately 49 meters high. Many of the champion trees would have been brought back from far corners of the globe by explorers and plant hunters as seeds. The collection at Bodnant Gardens includes plants from China, South America and Japan, amongst other countries.
If you fall in love with Bodnant Gardens like many visitors do and are keen to explore and see the garden throughout the seasons, why not take a look at our Wales holiday homes for sale? So, you can return year after year to see how they have developed.