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

JUNE

June is one of the most colourful months in the gardens. In the early weeks, perfumed Wisteria is in bloom draped on the wall running alongside the Long Walk.  It brings colour to the back of the Eastern Border with the plants purple pendulous racemes. A native of China Wisteria sinensis was introduced to England in the 19th Century and soon became a favourite choice of Victorian gardeners



  

On the other side of the walk Catmint (Nepeta) is in full bloom at the base of the 300 year old yew hedge.  Its dark blue flowers always raise the spirits with its message that summer has arrived at long last.



Later, pink peonies will replace the spring flowering white tulips in the Western Border while the purple flowering globes of the Alliums are a feature of the Eastern Border.


On the lawn, look for the remarkable green and orange tinted flowers of the Tulip Tree near the Tea Kiosk. The flowers resemble those of a tulip hence the name of this American native.  The tree on the lawn has variegated leaves.  Another specimen in the churchyard hangs tall spreading some of its foliage over the boundary wall shared with the gardens.  The tulip tree has a long trunk ideal for making canoes which were used by native Americans for fishing and river transport.

The highlight of the year for many visitors is the flowering of the lavender bank towards the end of June.  The massed flowers of Lavender, yellow Santolina and blue Hyssop provide a colourful kaleidoscope.  All these plants are nectar rich and hugely attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.  


Near the base of the lavender bank you will see some fine specimens of the Kaffir Lily (Schizostylis).  A native of South Africa it has white flowers on stiff upright stems.