A NORTH Yorkshire garden that was derelict until restoration began 20 years ago has been named as one of the prettiest in the country.

Helmsley Walled Garden was singled out in a survey in the Times of the top gardens open to the public.

Built in 1759, it is a five acre garden sitting beneath the imposing ruins of Helmsley Castle. It provided the vegetables, fruit and flowers for the table of nearby Duncombe Park until just after World War One when it was leased as market garden.

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Marketing manager Tricia Harris, marketing manager, said the garden has been abandoned after it closed its doors for the final time in 1984, and fell into dereliction.

"Restoration started in 1994 and since then the Garden has gone from strength to strength through the dedication and care of staff and volunteers," she added.

She said the latest accolade was “incredibly pleasing.”