To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Bridge End Garden


17 - 23 Castle
CB10 1BU

Tel: 01799 524002

Add Bridge End Garden to your Itinerary

Bridge End Garden

Bridge End Garden was created around 1840 by Francis Gibson, a local Quaker businessman who also built the Fry Art Gallery. Francis’ daughter Elizabeth married Lewis Fry of Bristol and in 1918 the Fry family leased the Garden to the local council. It has been open to the public ever since with entrances off Castle Street, Bridge Street and by the Cricket Field. The Garden is open, free to the public, all year except Christmas Day. Opening times of various sections of the Garden are seasonal. For specific details please contact Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre (01799 524002).

Over time, Bridge End Garden fell into neglect. An ambitious restoration project took place between 2003 and 2008. The Garden is registered as Grade II* by Historic England. 

You can learn more about the history and restoration in the Visitor Centre, located in the Walled Garden.

Bridge End Garden is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. There are many benches spread throughout the Garden and it is the perfect place for a summer picnic or to provide a quiet escape from modern life. 

Theatre, music and the Maze Festival are regular features within the garden. The Walled Garden is available to hire for wedding receptions.

Since 2010, the Garden has been managed by Saffron Walden Town Council, with support from the Friends of Bridge End Gardens, a charity formed to support the restoration, management and future development of the Garden.

Francis Gibson designed the Garden as a series of interlocking ‘rooms’, each with its own unique character.

Geometric swirls of box and closely clipped yew form a sunken parterre in the Dutch Garden, best seen from the viewing platform or the long walks. It was replanted to the design sketched by Gertrude Jekyll when she visited in 1912. The long border, fronted by standard wisterias, is a vibrant backdrop in summer. Terminating the long walkway above the sunken parterre is a classical Pavilion.

The Wilderness is a shady grove, designed for wandering and reflection, with trained laburnums down the centre, abundant spring flowers and a variety of Victorian shrubs planted throughout. 

An octagonal summerhouse, the perfect backdrop to a picnic, nestles beneath an old cedar on the typically English Summerhouse Lawn which is surrounded by leafy beds of herbaceous perennials, mature shrubs and trees.

The formal Rose Garden is planted with Victorian varieties and is the oldest part of the Garden. Though short lived, the blooming season is a wonder to the senses!

Behind the Rose Garden is Jacob’s Well, thought to be the original cistern feeding the fountain in the Dutch Garden. An archway leads back to the Dutch Garden and the secluded Poet’s Corner.

The Walled Garden houses two reconstructed glasshouses and contains Victorian varieties of espalier and cordon-trained fruit trees, together with colourful herbaceous borders and the bee hives that help to pollinate the blooms. 

The hedge Maze, beyond the Walled Garden, was replanted in 1984 with over a thousand young yews. In its centre is a viewing platform with views over the Maze and the countryside. The Maze is surrounded by native and ornamental trees.

What's Nearby

  1. Turf Maze (Labyrinth)

    Turf Maze (Labyrinth)


    The turf maze (Labyrinth) on the Common...

    0.06 miles away
  2. Hedge Maze

    Work to create the delightful Victorian garden at Bridge End commenced in...

    0.06 miles away
  3. Saffron Walden Museum

    Discover a world of hidden treasures in one of the country’s oldest local...

    0.19 miles away
  1. Saffron Hall

    Saffron Hall is the award-winning new concert hall built in the grounds of...

    0.53 miles away
  2. Audley End Miniature Railway

    The Audley End Miniature Railway is a delightful 1.5 mile ride on Lord...

    0.63 miles away
  3. Audley End House & Gardens

    Experience a real life period drama as you explore life above and below...

    0.75 miles away
  4. IWM Duxford

    Discover the best of aviation at IWM Duxford.  Stand in awe of everything...

    6.67 miles away
  5. Classic Wings Vintage Aircraft Pleasure Flights

    Enjoy a nostalgic flight over the stunning Cambridgeshire countryside in a...

    6.67 miles away
  6. Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village

    Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village – a unique all-weather, all-in-one...

    8.56 miles away
  7. Stapleford Granary

    Stapleford Granary is an inspiring space for a broad range of educational...

    8.91 miles away
  8. Shepreth Wildlife Park

    With over 100 species to see, you’re in for an amazing treat, there is...

    10.64 miles away
  9. Docwra's Manor Garden

    There is something to enjoy at all seasons of the year at Docwra's Manor...

    10.68 miles away
  10. Byron's Pool Local Nature Reserve

    The woodland is being managed through the removal of non-native species...

    11.88 miles away
  11. Homerton College

    Homerton is a multi-disciplinary undergraduate and graduate student...

    11.91 miles away
  12. Cambridge Leisure Park

    Cambridge Leisure on the corner on Cherry Hinton Road and Hills Road in...

    12.2 miles away
Previous Next

Why book with VisitCambridge?

Support the city - VisitCambridge is the official tourism body for Cambridge. All revenue is re-invested back into the destination to provide additional services to you, our visitors.

Quality guarantee - all accommodation listed on this website has been inspected by the official rating authorities.

Secure transactions -we use SSL encryption, so your credit card information is safe and secure, as is any personal information we collect during booking.

My Itinerary

Build your own itineraries by clicking the Add to Excursion button to add an item to your Itinerary basket.

Contact Us

Cambridge Visitor Information Centre:

01223 791500