Design heavyweights come together on landmark development at Raby Castle

World-class and multi award-winning Italian garden designer Luciano Guibbilei has been selected to lead the extensive remodelling of Raby Castle’s historic Walled Garden. Hand-picked by Lady Barnard, Luciano will redesign the five-acre garden, which dates back to the 18th Century. 


Redevelopment of the garden is part of a wider scheme at Raby Castle called The Rising, which will see several historic buildings sympathetically restored to their former glory and made available to the community and the wider public. 


Acclaimed landscape architect Alistair Baldwin has also been brought in to redesign the extensive public areas around the new development, which aims to recapture the sociable community feel of Old Raby village, which existed beyond the castle walls.  


Luciano’s portfolio of work includes a residency at the garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex, amongst largescale landscape design projects across the globe. 


On hiring Luciano, Lady Barnard says: “I spoke at length to fellow interior designers to gauge their opinion on who would fit the bill for this job and each of them named Luciano. I researched his work and was struck by his thoughtfulness in his designs. From every viewpoint, his work is romantic and timeless and that is my aim for the walled garden here at Raby.

“Luciano has a passion and an excitement for this project that is truly infectious. Although the very nature of a walled garden is structure, the thought given to the planting will give a more spontaneous feel.  


“Moss will be allowed to grow, there will be a softness that will come from the planting schemes, but also in the decision not to over-garden – a vision which Luciano will impart to our new head gardener, once they are in post.” 


Speaking about the project, Luciano says: “I am keen to reflect the beauty and unique atmosphere of the castle and parkland into the walled garden, which is built on an incline so the surrounding scenery can be enjoyed inside. The beautiful yew hedge is a key feature in the garden and all my planting decisions are sympathetic and respectful to this imposing protagonist. 


“Kate and I met in 2017 and I was instantly captured by her enthusiasm for the project. She has given me total freedom of expression and I feel the gravity of what we are creating here at Raby Castle.  


“The designs need to honour the history of the site and reflect the fact that this is an important moment in the castle’s legacy.” 

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