A grey and brown stone Tudor ruin stands amongst an apothecary herb garden. On the right stands a tall chimney with a fireplace in midair that once would have been the upstairs. Slight closer stands a ruinous two storey wall and as it turns toward the camera is drops down. There are two open gaps for windows supported by wooden lintels. There is a rosemary bush in the foreground and lavender, sage and mint in raised beds behind. A stone table stands in the centre, . The sky is blue with white fluffy clouds.
The Apothecary & Herb garden at Sheffield Manor Lodge

Our apothecary garden at Sheffield Manor Lodge is in desperate need of conservation works. The garden sits in the ruins of what we believe was one of the great kitchens of the grand manor house. It celebrates Tudor grown herbs, giving visitors a sensory experience of plants that were vital to cooking and medicine in the time when Mary, Queen of Scots was held prisoner here. To stop further deterioration, and keep our visitors safe, we have had to rope off access to parts of the garden, limiting our access for our public visitors and school children. 

The walls need repointing and turf capping to protect the stonework and prevent further damage. The window lintels need replacing to ensure this remaining glimpse of this once grand manor house can be seen. These measures will safeguard the historical site from deterioration, ensuring its structural integrity endures for posterity. Expert restoration and conservation efforts are essential to maintain the cultural significance and educational value of this important heritage. Without this work it is likely that we will have to close the garden.

Urgent work required

Apothecary garden

Apothecary gardens, also known as physic gardens or medicinal gardens, have a long history dating back to ancient civilizations. These gardens were cultivated primarily for the purpose of growing various medicinal plants, herbs, and other botanicals used in traditional medicine and early pharmacology. The apothecary garden is one of the most popular spots at the Lodge and is used for education and events. Essential structural work to the surrounding walls and replanting will conserve it for future visitors.

Turf capping

The process of capping the Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) walls with turf can enhance their durability and resistance to environmental factors, providing better protection against potential damage. The additional protective layer can help extend the lifespan of the SAM walls, reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

Lintels and repointing

The oak wood lintels originated from the local woods within the deer park that used to stretch across the Manor and beyond, from Sheffield Castle over 450 years ago. Over time, water infiltration has caused the wood to weaken and lose its structural integrity, making replacement necessary. This essential work must use appropriate materials and techniques to maintain the structural integrity and safety of the building. This is where Mary Queen of Scots was detained for many years and legend has it, she attempted an escape through this window.

Over time, the external mortar joints of the stone walls have deteriorated due to various factors, such as weathering, moisture, age, and structural movement. Repointing is essential to maintain the integrity and aesthetics of the building.

Turret House plaster

Horse hair lime plaster is a traditional building material that has been used in heritage buildings for centuries. It is a mixture of lime, sand, and horse hair, which provides additional strength and durability to the plaster. This type of plaster has been commonly used in historic buildings and monuments because of its many beneficial properties. Work is required to patch and repair areas of the plaster within the Turret House.

Sheffield Manor Lodge Turret House in the low light with snow covered ground


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