Weston Park, the magnificent stately home on the Shropshire Staffordshire border was delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO to the estate on Wednesday 14th May as part of his visit to the region.
His Royal Highness visited Weston to open Lady Anne’s Memorial Garden, a tribute to Lady Anne Cowdray who was sister to the 6th Earl of Bradford and grew up at Weston.
As a keen gardener herself, Lady Anne is best known for her stunning woodland garden ‘Broadleas’ in Wiltshire, where she turned 9 acres of neglected wilderness into one of the country’s horticultural gems. Following her death in 2009, the Cowdray family made a financial gift to the Weston Park Foundation to establish a garden in her memory, and inspired by ‘Broadleas’, it features some of her favourite magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons.
The Rt Hon. Viscount Cowdray said “It is wonderful to see the garden reach maturation and we were honoured to see it formally opened by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. This quiet and reflective space is a fitting tribute to my mother’s talents and her love of flowering trees”.
His Royal Highness, accompanied by The Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire and Mrs Dudson were met by Mr William Montgomery, Chair of the Trustees of the Weston Park Foundation and Mr Colin Sweeney, CEO. A tour of the historic rooms of the House included a viewing of the newly redecorated Drawing Room.
Speaking about the visit, Colin Sweeney commented, “It has been an real honour to welcome the Duke of Gloucester to Weston and we have enjoyed sharing with him some of our latest developments. The new garden is a particularly exciting addition and Weston’s Head Gardener Martin Gee and his team have worked hard to realise this vision for the garden of memory.”
Also present for the opening were Lady Anne’s children, the Rt Hon. The Viscount Cowdray and the Hon. Mrs Stopford-Sackvile. Sadly Jane McNaughton, the second daughter was unable to be present as she lives in America.
Weston Park opens for its new season Saturday 24th May 2014.