Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Thorp Perrow Arboretum is an 85-acre (34 ha) woodland garden Arboretum near Bedale in North Yorkshire, England.


Thorp is a common place-name of Old Norse origin meaning hamlet or small village. In the Domesday Book of 1086 Thorp was a possession of Count Alan of Brittany. Perrow derives from the lords of the manor of Pirnhow (also written Pirhou or Pirho) in Norfolk, who were the earliest known tenants here. In 1286-87 Helewise de Perrow was a tenant.[1]

There is no surviving record of a village at Thorp Perrow.[2] A park called Thorpe Park went with the manor of Thorp Perrow in the 16th and 17th centuries.[1] Spring Wood was planted in the 16th century, and survives to this day.[3] Thorp Perrow Hall was built in the early 18th century.[4] Ornamental gardens and lakes were laid out around 1800, and a collection of exotic conifers called Milbank Pinetum was planted between 1840 and 1870 by Lady Augusta Milbank.[5]

The Arboretum was originally created by Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner (1895–1977)[6] in 1931. Leonard Ropner also founded several gardens in the park.[3] Today the Thorp Perrow estate is considered to be one of the finest arboreta in the United Kingdom; The Times listed it as one of the top ten arboretum's in the United Kingdom.[7]

In July 2006 the gardens celebrated their 75th anniversary by planting the 1,750th tree.[8]

The arboretum today

Thorp Perrow is now open to the public. It holds five National Plant Collections: Tilia (Lime), Fraxinus (Ash), Cotinus (Smoke Bush), Laburnum and Juglans (Walnut),[9] and has 48 Champion trees in its collection.[10] It also contains a Birds of Prey Centre, with regular flying demonstrations.


  1. "Parishes: Well". Victoria County History. British History. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. "Thorpe Perrow". Beresford's Lost Villages. University of Hull. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  3. "Garden Information". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  4. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1190139)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  5. "Thorp Perrow". Parks & Gardens. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  6. "Gardens to visit: Thorp Perrow Arboretum, North Yorks". The Telegraph. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  7. Anderton, Stephen (3 August 2019). "10 top arboretums". The Times (72, 916). Weekend. p. 5. ISSN 0140-0460.
  8. "Arboretum plants 1,750th tree to mark its 75th anniversary". Ripon Gazette. 6 April 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  9. "Notable Plant Collections Bedale, North Yorkshire". Thorp Perrow. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  10. "The Tree Register". Retrieved 9 May 2019.

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