Walled kitchen gardens in South Oxfordshire

Shirburn Castle

Shirburn Castle is in the village of Shirburn, nearly 10 kilometres south of Thame, Oxfordshire. Shirburn Castle was the seat of the Earls of Macclesfield, bought by the family in 1716. The walled garden is situated 120 metres south of the castle in the hamlet of Shirburn, in a rural location about two kilometres north east of Watlington.

The current garden is rectangular and laid to grass and, from the current landline OS, it has walls and a glasshouse on the inside and bothy on the outside of the north wall, with some glasshouses and buildings to the north of the garden. The first historical reference to the garden is in the 1st ed. OS in 1876 which shows perimeter and some central paths crossing at a glasshouse with attached bothy in the middle of the garden. Trees lined the paths and there was a glasshouse along the inside and a bothy along the outside of the north wall. A further six glasshouses and some building were situated to the north of the garden. There was a productive garden to the east, possibly partly walled and slip gardens to the west and south. Everything was surrounded by a shelter belt.

Designation status
The garden at Shirburn Castle is included in the Historic England Register of Historic Parks and Gardens at Grade II.  Further information is available in the National Heritage List for England.

Sources of information