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Our History


Smeaton Nursery Gardens is situated in the middle of the Smeaton-Hepburn estate in the walled garden of the old mansion house built in 1793 (pictured). The walled gardens themselves were built abiout 20 years before the house to ensure it was mature before the family moved in. Unfortunately the mansion house had to be demolished in the early 1950s and the walled gardens and a few stone steps are all that remain.

The history of the gardens started with Sir George Buchan Hepburn who built the Mansion house and the walled gardens. The following generations carried out the majority of the ornamental planting and also created the lake and started the estate Arboretum.

This tradition was carried on by The Gray family, who bought the estate in 1934, with George and Anne Gray playing a major part in the continuous planting and maintenance of the gardens and the estate as a whole.

The walled gardens were first opened as a nursery in the 1960s with the current team taking over in 2003.