An introduction to Storey Gardens

On the south side of the country park, you will find the Storey Gardens

May 20 2021

The walled garden and the Gardens were built at the same time as William Stone built his new mansion. The area was designed as a vegetable, fruit and large orchard. We’ve recently discovered an article written by Robert Newlyn in 1867. It gives an insight into the bountiful harvest that the garden would produce:

We were then conducted along the back of the building, taking the orchard-house on our way; and passing by a sidewalk towards the east we entered the new kitchen garden. This has only recently been formed but promises full well under the management of Mr. Young, the head gardener. It is three acres in extent admirably laid out, and walled in, and the various crops are in a thriving state. There are a number of new pits for forcing vegetables, and cucumbers and melons were in a flourishing state.
A Visit to Leigh Park, Robert Newlyn, Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener, 13 June 1867

Evidence of the Gardens’ productive past was still evident in the early 1970s with old trees of plum, damson, and pear still growing!

In 1944, the walled garden was renamed Storey Gardens in honour of F.G.H. Storey was a Portsmouth Councillor, who acted on behalf of Portsmouth Council to acquire the Leigh Park Estate and outlying land for building houses on the outskirts of the city. Storey undertook a lot of hard work to acquire the estate and land and eventually signed the final deal.

As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund restoration project, Storey Gardens is being restored back to its former glory with a mixed fruit orchard planted along the west wall and new raised vegetable and flower beds already starting to bloom. We’ve also created an education space with a willow arch and log seats perfect for local schools who visit the site.