|Name||Kilver Court Secret Gardens, Shepton Mallet|
|ZIP code||BA4 5NF|
|Full Address||England, South West, Kilver Court, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5NF|
Hidden in the heart of Somerset are the Secret Gardens of Kilver Court. The gardens are carefully maintained all year round for the public to enjoy. It’s the perfect day out in the Somerset countryside
The three and a half acre gardens were first created at the beginning of the 1900’s by then owner Ernest Jardine. He created a ‘model factory’ where he built lace-making machines and laid out the gardens for the benefit of his employees. The gardens were known as Jardine’s Park and became a well used recreational space for his factory workers.
The in the 1960’s the Showering family transformed the site into what it is today. The family have made cider in Shepton Mallet for over 200 years, and set up their first brewery at the former Ship Inn which sits at the front of the Kilver Court site. Part of the original brewery in Kilver Street still remains and is used for cider making. The Great Grandfather of the present Showering generation demonstrated extraordinary business acumen in acquiring the land in 1843 while the buildings were in flames and his own employees were working a bucket and chain to help put the fire out! Francis Showering joined the family business in 1929 and in 1947 produced the experimental drink ‘Babycham’.
The success of the new drink prompted massive expansion and Showering’s acquired the Kilver Court buildings that sat alongside the River Sheppey to have as a production site.
Jardine’s Park and mill, which were lying empty, were obtained during further expansion in the late 1950’s. Francis Showering oversaw the landscaping of the gardens and in 1961 based his designs on the Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winning garden by Mr Whiteleg – who came himself to oversee the project.
The gardens were further enhanced by the acquisition of the viaduct following the closure of the railway.
We like the café here which is a quintessentially British Harlequin Café. The perfect spot for a light lunch, afternoon tea, or a quick coffee to take away after shopping. The child-friendly cafe has a relaxed and quirky feel, reminiscent of a vintage tearoom with its panelled walls and old film set tables. Keep cosy by the fire and enjoy a cuppa in one of Her Majesty’s Coronation mugs.
A perfect destination with something for everyone here.