A treasure of a private garden Elsing Hall, in its current impeccable state, is the work of two committed and talented gentlemen who've retreated here after successful careers in finance in Asia. Their days are spent gardening and the extraordinary love they have for this unique historic property is apparent in everything you see.
Of course the history of the house is long. It was completed in about 1470 by John Hastings on the site of a much earlier house built by his ancestor, Sir Hugh de Hastings. Little is known of this earlier house erected prior to Sir Hugh's death in 1347 but the remains of a gate house and curtain wall on the inner edge of the moat are clearly visible today. Sir Hugh was the younger son of the 2nd Baron Hastings and acquired Elsing by marriage to his mother's ward, Margery Foliot. To find out more go to the Elsing Hall website.
Lush borders, in the English style, seem to be the center of horticultural concern here, all handled masterfully—in spite of the fact that the garden's owners and creators knew nothing about gardening just a few short years ago.
This impressive "moat" is something of a centerpiece here and from each direction it's perceived its look changes entirely.
We've just crossed the moat via a tiny bridge to approach the house from the front—it sits on a kind of island in that respect.
And off the "island," walled gardens enclose further gardens, each with a different classic character.
That black swan followed us for the entire visit. It's said that she's "mad." She didn't seem to like the intrusion of our presence there but at the same time she couldn't get enough of us.
This is a close up of the flint facade, typical of Norfolk. Most original.