Visiting Caversham Court

Opening times

The gardens are open to the public every day, except Christmas Day, 8 a.m. to dusk. The gazebo and vaults are open when a gardener is on site. Special events are sometimes held as well. 
The gardens remain open at present.  We will keep potential visitors informed on this website should there be a change of policy by Reading Borough Council.

The gardens have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Heritage Site status for each of the last ten years, most recently in September 2020.  The Green Flag Award is given where a park is seen to be welcoming, healthy, safe and secure and well-maintained.  Green Heritage status signifies that the gardens promote the value of and best practice in the care and upkeep of an historic site.

Getting here and general information


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The gardens (RG4 7ADare located on Church Road (A4074), about 300 metres from Caversham Bridge. The main entrance is between St Peter's Church and The Griffin pub.

Parking is limited nearby - your best bet is on The Warren - but there is disabled parking at the main gates in Church Road, from where there is wheelchair access to and around Caversham Court including the disabled toilets.

There is a bike rack inside the main gates.

Buses 22, 24, X39/X40 all stop on Bridge Street near Caversham Bridge, a short distance away.

We ask that you respect these historic gardens:-

* dogs are welcome but on a lead, please,
* please use the bike rack, no cycling allowed
* bring a picnic, but please do not light barbecues!
* no loud music 

Facilities

The Tea Kiosk in a converted Arts and Crafts building, sells teas, coffee and cakes in aid of local charities. 

It opens on Sunday 2 and Monday 3 May (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for refreshments, weather permitting.  Further opening is scheduled for future weekends throughout the summer.

There are toilets/disabled toilets, with baby changing facilities.

Let us show you around

Volunteers from the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens are available to take groups around the gardens to talk about the history of the site and about the garden. If you would like to arrange a group tour, or for a speaker to come to your meeting, please contact the Friends - friends@fccg.org.uk. We also offer special sensory tours for the sight- and hearing impaired and their carers.
 
Illustrated Talks
Our volunteers can also provide illustrated presentations on the history of the gardens and related topics (see Garden News for details)

From the home of Augustinian friars in the C12th to a country club in the C20th, the land known as Caversham Court Gardens has a long recorded history.  In between came litigious money-lenders, travelling antiquarians and bankers and brewers with an eye for profitable business.  Speakers from the Friends can offer a fully illustrated talk about the research which aids our understanding of the families, the houses they lived in and the gardens they planted.

If your group would like such a talk (currently delivered by Zoom) please contact us at friends@fccg.org.uk

Schools groups

Please contact the Head Gardener - friends@fccg.org.uk


More information

Our Facebook page can be accessed here. 

You can download the Self Guided Tour of the Gardens from our sub-page (see below)






In season

May

Many of the trees on the lawn are now unfurling their leaves but are not very happy because of the absence of significant rain.  The magnolia is in bloom and by the end of the month the tulip like blooms of the handsome Tulip tree will be visible both on the tree near the Tea Kiosk and the second one hanging over the wall near the top of the steps leading to the church.


Look for the blue flowers in the Eastern Border.  These are of the clump forming perennial Brunnera which produces masses of small pale blue flowers.  They are similar to those of Forget-me-not. The flowers are borne above attractively marked foliage and persist through to the end of May



Tulips provide the main interest in the Western
 Border.  A native of Persia, the word tulip is derived from the Persian for turban which the blooms were thought to resemble.  Tulips were very popular when introduced to Britain in the 17th Century and would probably have been grown by the Loveday family when they lived in the Old Rectory. The Western Border is designed to feature 17th and 18th Century favourites.


Later in the month the Peony plants will replace the tulips as the most prominent feature of this border.  Their large red blooms very colourful but often short lived as petals tend to drop with rain or wind.