Rainforest Throne at Larnach Castle

Garden History


The Never-ending Pursuit of Excellence

Of all the inhabitants of Larnach Castle over the years, only Larnach and the Purdies left their mark. But the long periods of semi-neglect in the intervening years, have meant little remains of their hard toil.

1871 - 1898

From William Larnach we have the driveways, old dry stone walls, possibly part of a holly hedge and some large specimen trees, three of which are New Zealand natives (rimu, red beech, and northern rata).  Then of course, there are the old out-buildings which you come across as you move around the grounds - the Creamery, Methane Gas Plant, Vinery, and the historic Stables.

1927 - 1939

Mrs Purdie was an avid gardener, clearing and tidying the grounds after the period of non-habitation.  All that is left today of her work are the bones of a rockery (the Lost Rock Garden today), a fountain in the Raised Lawn, the glass Cupola, and the two yew trees on the ballroom lawn.

1967 - Today

While the Castle and out-buildings were largely William Larnach's creation and legacy, the last 40 years of gardens have been Margaret's creation.

Please remember that the restoration and ongoing development of the Castle, Gardens and Grounds have only been made possible through the admission fee visitors have paid over the years.

It's a true example of a garden developing over time ...

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