New memorial bench for historic Warwick garden in remembrance of last head gardener of estate

The installation of the bench at Guy's Cliffe Walled Garden. Photo submitted.
The installation of the bench at Guy's Cliffe Walled Garden. Photo submitted.

A new memorial bench has been installed at an historic garden in Warwick in remembrance of the last head gardener of the estate.

On March 10 volunteers and trustees gathered at Guy’s Cliffe Walled Garden, which is off Coventry Road, for the installation in memory of George Tyler.

They were joined by his granddaughter Eileen Green and members of her family.

Eileen had donated the bench to the garden in memory of her grandfather, who was the last head gardener for the Guy’s Cliffe Estate.

Thanks to Eileen, the trustees have been able to link to more history of the gardens.

George Tyler, who was born in Wiltshire in 1881, served as head gardener from 1925 until around 1946 when the estate was broken up and sold by the Heber Percy family.

Prior to taking the role at Guy’s Cliffe, George was an assistant gardener at Coghurst Hall near Hastings by the time he was 20, and was gardening in Hertfordshire in 1911.

George was called up for military service and joined the Royal Flying Corps, and transferred to the RAF when it was formed in April 1918.

During the bench unveiling, Barry Meatyard, a trustee at Guy’s Cliffe Walled Garden, gave a speech about the garden and its gardeners – including George.

He said: “The continuity of the history of the garden is important to us.

“We have living memory records of the ‘canal’ being gradually filled in in the 1960s, and of the coming down of the missing part of the west wall in 1947, but human memory alone cannot reach far beyond that, and that is why it is a privilege to have a tangible link back into the years before the Second World War, through Eileen’s family connections.

“Eileen has been in touch with us over the last two years and has even produced photographs of George’s family in the garden.

“Her suggestion of a memorial bench commemorating her grandfather’s time and contributions at Guy’s Cliffe has been both a poignant and celebratory gesture to add to the richness of the history.

“On behalf of the trust and all of us associated with the garden, I would like to thank Eileen and her family for their generosity of this very impressive bench.”

For more information about the garden click here