Heavy showers did not dampen the spirits of the Soroptimists and friends who visited Dowthorpe Hall at Skirlaugh on June 27th. The house and farm are mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The Holtby family has worked the land at Dowthorpe Hall since 1890. Our guide was Mrs. Caroline Holtby who has lived in the Hall for the last 25 years and has been responsible for much of the garden development.
The gardens extend over about three and a half acres with a pond, swimming pool s, herbaceous borders, a scree garden and a vegetable garden. Some areas are left to wildlife and birds and it was here that we saw some bee orchids in flower.
Mrs Holtby uses all the produce from the orchard and vegetable gardens, making chutneys, jams, soups and damson gin.
The visit concluded with a most welcome cup of tea and biscuits and the opportunity to discuss what we had seen.