Information regarding recent developments at Bader College and Herstmonceux Castle. (20/11/2023)

Recently, we have learned about a number of structural issues at the Castle requiring immediate attention, including repairs needed to the south wall of the building. A structural engineer visited the Castle two weeks ago and confirmed that the situation is more serious than previously understood.
As a result, portions of the Castle have closed to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty, and out of an abundance of caution, all operations at the Castle have been suspended. Academic programming at Bader College has moved online until the end of the fall term, and students will continue their studies in January at the Kingston, Ontario, campus of Queen’s University in Canada. Bader College staff and professionals from Queen’s University are working very hard to ensure a smooth transition for all involved.
Bader College continues to assess the situation and the full extent of the work needed, but it is clear at this point that repairs to the Castle will take at least 12-18 months. Additionally, a complete survey of other areas of the Castle will be undertaken in late January/early February.
We realise this may be distressing news for many within the local community, and those with close ties to Bader College and the Castle. As much as possible, we will keep you informed about ongoing developments at the Castle.

Upcoming Events
Featured Events

Latest news at Herstmonceux Castle

Scroll Down To Discover

Tulips in Twenty Twenty One

Tulips are a major floral boon in the quiet months of April and May when the herbaceous perennials have not quite got themselves out of the ground, but colour and cover is needed in the garden. However, they are a fickle plant which does not like our wet winters, and so often don’t reappear year after year because the bulbs rot in the ground.

Guy and the Gardens and Grounds team, as part of their five-year plan to move the garden away from the use of bedding plants to a more sustainable and lower-maintenance mixed border approach, are now looking at how we can continue with a phenomenal tulip display without the biannual work of planting and pulling up each year.

To support the implementation of the plan, the team has devised a series of tulip trials. This year, alongside the regular planting of tulips and other bulbs in the borders, Guy will be planting a large number of bulbs in the lower garden which will be then left as long as possible to see how they fare through the seasons. The aim is to find a bulb that can withstand our wet winters, and which can, therefore, be left in the ground throughout the year.

Guy has chosen specific varieties of tulip, those which have been grown locally in similar conditions and particular varieties which have been shown to be able to perform as perennials such as lily tulips and Darwin hybrids.  But this is not simply a trial for survival. The team will also assess tulip performance in terms of growth, sturdiness, spread, attractiveness and overall health after lengthy periods in our soil. The plan is to plant around the rest of the garden those tulips which pass the trial.

So in future years, perhaps with a lot less effort on the part of the Grounds and Gardens team (we hope!), we will have the sorts of displays experienced this year which enabled us to give dozens of bunches of tulips to local NHS workers and caregivers.

Sign up to receive our seasonal newsletter giving you advance notice of events and what to expect in the gardens in the coming months.