The modern garden at Alnwick Castle dates back to its inception in 1750. The castle is the second largest occupied castle in the U.K. The first is Windsor Castle. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was renowned for the then innovative design and conservatories filled with exotic plants. The greater landscape, the rolling parkland surrounding the castle and echoing the meander of the river Aln, was designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, England’s greatest gardener of the 18th century.
The enormous, modern changes in the gardens at Alnwick are due to the vision and determination of Jane Percy, the 12th Duchess of Northumberland. Restlessly creative and with an irreverent spirit, she developed the idea to create a modern garden, a garden for entertainment, for spectacle, for education, and a safe place to play. She wanted a grand public garden of classic symmetry and beauty, a garden for four seasons, day and night.
A very grand and adventurous garden indeed. And Her Grace is not without a sense of humor. Engraved in stone is Omnia, hospites, vidistis Vobis gratias agimus Nunc, fortuito mingo .
Translated from the Latin, this means Visitors, you have seen everything. We thank you. Now happily piss off.