Historical Environment Record No: MYD34336
OS Grid Reference: SE002883
Dale: Lower Wensleydale
Link to Archaeology Data Service:
Aysgarth Rock garden is one of the most unusual Listed Buildings in the Yorkshire Dales. It was spot listed in 1988 in order to prevent its destruction. Since then, new owners have raised the funds to restore it to its former glory. It was commissioned in the years before the First World War by Frank Sayer-Graham who owned the cottage opposite. Sayer-Graham was a local landowner with a colourful background. He dealt in rare gulls eggs and silver rabbit furs raised in a warren on nearby Lady Hill. He was even reputed to have supplied the last Czar of Russia with furs. Sayer-Graham was also a keen horticulturist. He planted fields of tulips around Aysgarth, and set up his own nursery next door to his home, Heather Cottage.
The respected firm of Messrs J Backhouse & Son of York was brought in to design and build the rock garden and construction began in 1906. Sayer-Graham may also have had advice from the famous alpine specialist and plant hunter, Reginald Farrer. Massive blocks of limestone were carted down from the fells to create the enormous rockscapes and water feature.
http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/arch/landscapes/ukpg/database/ - UK database of historic parks and gardens
On the A684 at the western end of Aysgarth village, about 200 metres before the Thornton Rust turning. Public access during daylight hours. Donations please.
Public Transport Details
Nearest town/village: Aysgarth. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information
Narrow gravel paths with steep steps. Waterfall and pool so care needed with small children