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Matt & Sarah Hall are delighted to have moved into the Old Manse in October 2020 and takeover as the current inhabitants of this remarkable house and the carers for a very special garden.


Together with our 3 daughters and 2 dogs, we welcome you warmly to this website of the Old Orchard, the garden surrounding the Old Manse, Cromarty in Ross-shire, Scotland and are hugely grateful to Ken & Kristina for all their support as we have taken it over, not to mention creating such a remarkable garden in the first place!

The 17th-century house and 3m-high red sandstone wall surrounding the garden are both A-listed. Their history reflects the changing fortunes of Cromarty's prosperity, decline and revival.

The garden spans the years from Sir John Urquhart's 'Great Dyke' of the 1660s, through Capt John Reid's ownership (he of mermaid fame) in the 18th century, to the late-Victorian garden of the Cromarty Estate under head gardener Alexander More, to the productive garden that supplied fruit and vegetables to Royal Navy ships anchored in the Cromarty Firth in the first half of the 20th century, through dereliction after World War II to its restoration in the 1990s.

We'll be updating as frequently as we are able to!

See the Old Orchard entry on page 75 of Ken Cox's 'Scotland for Gardeners' book.

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