Secret garden transformed

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe
Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A little-known Victorian gardens in Sheffield has been restored to its ‘magnificent’ former glory following a £60,000 investment.

Whinfell Quarry Garden, built in 1898, was unveiled to the public at a ceremony on Monday after restoration work was completed.

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

The Grade II listed gardens, on Fenney Lane, off Ecclesall Road South, received £60,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding to repair the Clarence Elliott Cascade, which was added in 1912.

David Jordan, from the Friends of Whinfell Quarry Garden, said: “It was a fantastic day and it is magnificent to see the gardens restored to their former glory. But the restoration would not have been possible without the Heritage Lottery Fund sharing our enthusiasm and assisting with the applications – they were superb.”

The garden in the former Whirlow Quarry was started at the end of the 19th century by Samuel Doncaster, who travelled the world looking for rare plants to fill it.

He collected Redwood trees from America, Rhododendrons from the Himalayas – both of which are still in the garden – and many more rare species.

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

In the 1930s it was passed to another steel family, the Neills, who in time gifted it to the council. In recent years, The Friends have been volunteering to keep the garden in good check.

Key figures at the opening were Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, Daniel, Stephen and Sophie Doncaster, who are the grandchildren of Samuel Doncaster.

To find out more visit: friendsofwhinfell.org.uk/

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe (c) talks to David Jordan (l), chairman and Professor Shaun Quegan, president, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe (c) talks to David Jordan (l), chairman and Professor Shaun Quegan, president, at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

David Jordan at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe

David Jordan at the opening of Whinfell Quarry Garden. Picture: Andrew Roe