May 2004 saw the culmination of two years’
work when Springmead Garden was officially opened to the public.
This had been a major garden restoration project, funded by the East
of England Development Agency and the Countryside Agency and matched
in effort by dedicated volunteers, local craftspeople and contractors,
with the invaluable help of Essex Probationary Service.
Captain Arthur Wenlock had bequeathed
Springmead house and garden to the people of Brightlingsea in 1927.
Although the house had been put to use the garden had lain neglected
and derelict until 2003 when work started to transform it into a quiet
and tranquil oasis for all to enjoy.
The garden lies in a sheltered dell with
a natural spring-fed stream running through the heart of it. In
fact as one of the few original sources of water for the town the spring
may justly be described as the birthplace of Brightlingsea.
Wander across the boardwalk and view
the bog garden which has been created around the spring, pond and stream.
A large sunny border offers a pot pourri
of delightful fragrances, bark paths meander around the upper shady
area and seats around the lawn give lovely views of the garden.
The stream feeds the dykes of the ancient
grazing marsh on the town’s national nature reserve, a Site of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The development of the garden is on-going and it will take a number of years to mature.