The Italiante Sunken Garden

Welsh Architectural Genius and Portmeirion Founder, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis’ best kept secret now open to the Public

A commission borne of a chance encounter between the Coates sisters (then owners of Broadheath House) and Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis on a train in 1925, found the house and garden subsequently re-modelled in the Italianate style which became Williams-Ellis’ signature. 1925 was the same year in which Sir Clough Williams-Ellis acquired the neglected wilderness situated on the North West coast of Wales which was to become Portmeirion, the renowned Italianate village which has also spawned the uniquely decorated botanical pottery.

And now, 90 years since their creation by Sir Clough (his only garden commission in Powys) the gardens, which are being restored to their former glory, will be open to the public under the National Garden Scheme Charity.

The house, originally belonging to the High Sheriff of Radnorshire - Broadheath House – which sits within the gardens, is still the impressive, cream stuccoed Georgian building to which Williams-Ellis added a 2 storey extension and a signature Italianate, semi-circular annexe along with a loggia which overlooks the exquisite, walled, sunken garden. As when they were first landscaped, the formal gardens extend to an area of more than 2 acres and are divided into 5 distinct ‘rooms': the Italianate sunken garden with its lily ponds and rose beds, flanked to the east by an original timber barn covered in espaliered pear trees; the secret garden (or well garden) enclosed behind tall yew hedging and containing a magnificent magnolia tree among other fabulous specimen trees and plants; the yew tree walk-way with summer house; the formal kitchen garden and an orchard with peach house. To the north of the house is a beautiful cob nut orchard bordered by rhododendron and silver birch and an amelanchier walkway to a beautiful ornate gate leading to fields and views of Wapley Hill Fort beyond.


Broadheath, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2HG

garden closed in 2017

We are hoping to open 2018 for NGS charity

Dates to be confirmed