Archaeology and landscape combine in new Castle Bailey Gardens design

A new public park in Bedford incorporates the foundations of an 11th-century castle in its design.

Castle Bailey Gardens have been designed by consultancy CSa Environmental Planning as part of Bedford's newly completed Castle Quay development.

Adjacent to the River Ouse, the gardens lie within the original limits of Bedford Castle's inner bailey, a scheduled ancient monument.

According to senior landscape architect Greg Collins, detailed archaeological excavations unearthed the walls of the former Great Hall, remnants of which have been restored as a centrepiece of the gardens.

Greg Collins said: "You can effectively walk the route of the walls. The archaeological aspect made it a really lovely project to work on from a landscape point of view because it gave us something to work into the park."

Undulating grass banks incorporating seasonal bulb planting and multi-stemmed cherry trees lead down towards the river and provide an informal parkland linking with the existing green spaces along the riverfront.


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