Belgrave Hall Gardens
Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary
Total species seen at this site: 200
Belgrave Hall was built in the early 18th century, in what was then a small village three miles from the City of Leicester. John Throsby described the Hall in his ‘Excursions in Leicestershire’ in 1790 as “a neat little box in the midst of Flora’s pleasure”. The formal gardens are protected by high red brick walls which shelter a variety of shrubs and climbers, including a magnificent Wisteria sinensis, reputed planted by John Ellis in 1860.
Every owner of the Hall has helped to contribute to the gardens with two ancient black mulberry trees flanking the broad walk, a pond, mature yew trees and shady woodland compliment the magnificent formal, box-edged borders and kitchen garden containing fruit trees, herbs and other culinary delights.
A number of glass houses would have produced a range of fruits such as peaches, grapes, nectarines and tender flowers for use in the Hall. Since the Hall became a museum in 1937, they have been developed as both a period and a botanic garden containing a wide range of plants from all over the world as well as a mix of native meadow and woodland plants to support native fauna.
The gardens of Belgrave Hall are strategically placed in the green network near to St Peters Churchyard, Belgrave Gardens and the River Soar. It has a good number of habitats ranging from mature trees to woodland; small areas of meadow grasses and typical established woodland species. The micro-climate of the Gardens helps to support a range of plants and early blossoms invaluable to insects and especially pollinating insects. The small pond supports a number of common species of amphibians and damsel and dragonflies frequently visit to lay their eggs and start their life cycle for the next generation.
A BioBlitz was held in May 2018 and identified over 300 species of plants and animals over the 24 hours. The event confirmed that the site is an important area for pollinating insects with its abundant food sources and areas to shelter. To see a full list of the species found, click here.
The records and images below may include those from adjacent sites if the grid reference submitted with these records overlaps the boundary of this Wild Place.