Gardens & Wildlife

The main house at Kilsby was originally built as a school called 'Glenview' by the Rev JR Kilsby Jones in the 1850's. A great family man, he worked very hard to establish the extensive gardens which we are in the process of restoring. Kilsby cottage nestles in these gardens alongside the main house.

Evidence of the original planting and terracing is still apparent at Kilsby with a great diversity of mature trees and shrubs in the grounds. The extensive views and the abundant local wildlife were a source of inspiration to the Reverand Kilsby. Today the views remain just as grand and the wildlife is still prolific.

Apart from the wonderful bird life slow-worms, common lizards, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, polecats, wood mice and bank voles can be seen in the garden if you are in the right place at the right time..

Kilsby Cottage is a bird-watchers paradise with many varied resident species as well as a number of notable summer visitors. Secluded garden seating and strategically situated feeding stations and nesting boxes allow visitors to view many different bird species in comfort and within close proximity.

Resident species include woodpeckers, nuthatch, yellowhammer, siskin, red poll, chafinch, green-finch, tree-creepers, dunnock, thrushes, gold-crest and a variety of tits amongst others. Summer visitors include redstart and both pied and spotted fly-catchers which nest close to the house as do house-martins. In addition to the garden birds various raptor species such as red kites, buzzards and peregrine falcons are frequently seen soaring overhead. Sparrow-hawks and Tawny Owls are regular visitors to our hill-side gardens.

The harsh call of ravens is a common sound as is the shriek of tawny owls within the garden as night falls. The distinctive call of cuckoos both near and far heralds spring across the valley and there is a persistent soothing background melody of birdsong as you explore the grounds surrounding Kilsby Cottage.