Hall Place, the home of the Berkshire College of Agriculture, has been witness to many historic stories in its time. There has been a manor house here since 1234 and the current mansion was built by William East in 1728.
Over the years the house has changed ownership many times and each owner added new features to the Estate. The grounds of Hall Place contain historic and picturesque planting together with some unusual species.
One feature of particular interest is the oak trees in the deer park. These special trees were planted in the formation of the English and French fleets during the Battle of the Nile in 1798.
Sadly, over the years many of the original trees were damaged or lost, so the Berkshire College of Agriculture has recently undertaken a replanting project to restore the battle formation to its original state. Young oak trees can now be seen, each with a plaque noting the name of the warship, the number of guns and in some cases their fate at the battle.
Behind the house is an area of formal Victorian planting which now includes a few recent additions including a Bristle Cone Pine and Himalayan Cedar.
The ‘back lawn’ also contains some more flamboyant Victorian features such as a cock fighting pit, which was designed as an amphitheatre, and a very ornate ten-sided, listed beehouse, which is said to be the finest example of a Victorian beehouse in England.
If you decide to visit these special trees please telephone the college first to ask permission (01628 824444).
Detailed directions are on the college website - www.bca.ac.uk
Berkshire College of Agriculture, near Maidenhead