How did the garden get its name?
HORATIO NELSON was known as the ‘Hero of the Nile’ after his victory over the French in Egypt.
His visit to Monmouth in 1802 caused great excitement amongst the townsfolk when he accompanied Sir William and Lady Hamilton, who were returning from their Estate in West Wales. Their visit included many grand events, including a dinner at the Beaufort Arms.
“About eight o’clock, his Lordship and friends took leave of the meeting in the most polite manner, and afterwards accompanied Colonel Lindsay to the beautiful summer house in his garden ... there to enjoy the refreshments of tea and coffee, and pass the remainder of the evening in that charming retreat.”
Extract from Charles Heath’s PROUD DAYS FOR MONMOUTH Thursday August 19, 1802
The garden today
New Life for Nelson Garden
The planting throughout the garden is designed around species that would have been popular in ornamental gardens of the late 18th/early 19th centuries.
Although the ‘charming retreat’ has vanished, in about 1840 the present Memorial Pavilion was erected, possibly to the design of George Vaughan Maddox, the Monmouth architect. Constructed of timber, various parts have been replaced over time and little of the current structure is original. However, it does house the original “Seat” on which Nelson sat, and a plaque commemorates the visit.
The restoration has been carried out by the Nelson Garden Preservation Trust, a committee of dedicated local volunteers.