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The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures

Sheffield Park Garden is a National Trust property situated on the edge of the Sussex Weald midway between East Grinstead and Lewes, 5 miles NW of Uckfield on the A275.

It is a beautiful 120 acre woodland garden originally designed for the first Earl of Sheffield by Humphry Repton and Capability Brown in the 18th century. In the nineteenth century the third Earl made Sheffield Park famous for country house cricket and also transformed the garden into an aboretum of both exotic and native conifers.
Sheffield Park House
Later in 1910 saw the arrival of Arthur Gilstrap Soames who transformed the garden with clumps of lakeside rhododendrons so enjoyed by Virginia Woolf and also introduced the spectacular autumn colour with Japanese maples, nyssas and beds of autumn gentians.

The garden is overlooked by the neo-Gothic mansion Sheffield Park House which is privately owned and unfortunately not accessible to the public.

The gardens original design was of trees, manicured lawns and two serpentine lakes. Later these two original lakes were extended to form the present chain of five, with picturesque waterfalls and a 25 foot cascade between the different levels . The shores of the lakes are planted with a superb variety of trees and shrubs. The great storm of 1987 sadly devastated the lakeside plantations, but with the gardens legendry vigor it is making a gradual recovery.

The gardens are at their best twice a year, in spring with daffodils, narcissus and a little later azaleas and rhododendrons. In October the spectacle of the brilliantly coloured Autumn foliage is stunning (see the new sections below).
*Link to official site for viewing Visitor Information*

Sheffield Park Lake Sheffield park in bloom Sheffield park colour

Sheffield Park Autumn 2002
At Sheffield Park the shores around the main lakes are planted with a superb range of trees and shrubs, which contribute to making this one of the finest woodland gardens in England.
The gardens are considered to be at their visual best on sunny days with blue skies in the second half of October when the waters of the lakes reflect the magnificent autumn colours. The tupelo trees, azaleas, maples, swamp cypresses, eucryphias and birches contribute to a stunning spectacle which is unrivalled in this country. You can judge this for yourself from the pictures below.
Sheffield Park reflections

Sheffield park red folliage

A fine Autumn Specimen Lakeside colour

Sheffield Park Autumn 2003
As Autumn is never the same two years running at Sheffield park, I made a second visit in mid October 2003. The Japanese maples, nyssas and beds of autumn gentians, once again provided a spectacular display.
Lower Womnas Way Pond Across Ten Foot Pond Lakeside Colour

Sheffield Park Autumn 2004
My annual visit to Sheffield Park to see the Autumn display has become important to me as it extends my garden visits into October or even November making the winter appear that much shorter. It also makes for a pleasant day out , with lunch at the restaurant.

This years visit was later than usual on the 5th November, possibly because of this and the recent wet weather, the colourful display was not up to the usual standard. Many of the trees had already shed their leaves. I must remember to come earlier next year.

The cascade which has been undergoing renovation for the past two years is now restored and working again as can be seen below right.
A glimpse of water through the Autumn foliage A view across Middle Lake The restored Cascade.

Sheffield Park Autumn 2005
I make no appology for yet another seasonal visit to Sheffield Park, I still find this garden unsurpassed in the south of England for autumn colour.

Even in winter there are spectacular views and many splendid walks, the most spectacular of which, is the Big Tree Walk with its fine specimens of North American Sequoia. The walk goes past oak and beech under planted with hardy hybrid rhododendrons and towards the end of the first lake is a superb specimen of the rare, Mexican Pinus Montezumae planted in 1910.
The top Bridge Giganteum Tree base Ten Foot Pond
Please continue to Sheffield Park page Two