Press Release 2020
Here is our press release announcing the official opening of our garden to the public!
An intriguing and idiosyncratic new garden opens on the Welsh borders
The Welsh Borders, home to several of the nation’s best loved gardens, has added another jewel to its horticultural crown, with the opening of Pant Hall Cloister Gardens in Herefordshire.
After six years of planning, planting, pruning, and purloining, Pant Hall Cloister Gardens, located just outside Presteigne in Herefordshire, is opening to the public for the first time in 2020.
The six-acre garden is the work of artist Malcolm Temple and his partner Karen Roberts, who acquired the property in 2012 and have been developing it ever since.
Followers of the art world may already be aware of Malcolm Temple. Bursting onto the British art scene in the late-1970s with huge, colourful punk rock portraits, he is perhaps best known for his dramatic sculptures, textiles and furniture designs. His work has been exhibited worldwide and acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum. A keen gardener, in the new millenium, he shifted his focus to include garden design and pavilion architecture, widely featured in the media, including the Guardian, the Daily Mail, and the Financial Times.
Karen Roberts, meanwhile, has a background as a horticultural therapist. While in London, she led a team of volunteers in the renovation of the historic Chiswick House Walled Gardens. And, since moving to Herefordshire, Karen has worked with a number of environmental charities and volunteering groups.
Pant Hall is somewhat more than a garden. What was once largely sheep pasture, has been transformed into an autobiographical journey through Malcolm Temple’s life and career. Drawing heavily on his seaside upbringing it incorporates, for example, a Bandstand, an Island Garden, a Dance Platform, a Ravine Garden, a Skywell, a Monkey Perch, an Artist’s Chapel, and an Art Barn featuring a selection of his earlier work.
Particularly engaging and enchanting are the garden’s idiosyncrasies. Malcolm Temple was once described (by Harpers & Queen magazine, no less) as a “master of the objet trouvé”, or found object. His art has always featured the ingenious and unexpected combinations of unusual items and imagery. And this quality is much in evidence at Pant Hall.
For example, many of the garden’s structures and follies have been lovingly crafted from rescued or salvaged building materials and general bric-à-brac. Also, Pant Hall operates a plant rescue service, which guarantees to give a loving home to any unwanted plants. And, alongside the garden’s more classic features, such as an Orchard, a Hydrangea Grove, and a Lime Walk, this rescue service has added to some of the less conventional planting schemes and juxtapositions.
Located high up on the hills above Presteigne, close to the Welsh border, this garden also affords glorious views of the surrounding countryside. And, for anyone wanting to make a day of it, Pant Hall is also within an hour’s drive of the region’s many other gardens, including Bryan’s Ground, Hergest Croft Gardens, Westonbury Mill Water Gardens, and Powis Castle.
To visit, you should phone or email ahead (car parking is limited, so visits do need to be arranged a little in advance) on 01544 260066, or by using the contact form at www.panthallcloistergardens.com. Refreshments can also be catered for but, again, it’s necessary to enquire in advance.
This exciting new garden is a real melting pot of ideas
Helena Attlee, bestselling author and garden historian
The work plus the vision are extraordinary
Katie Campbell, Garden Writer, author of ‘British Gardens in Time’
A garden brimful of ideas
Simon Dorrell, Artist, Garden Designer and co-creator of Bryan’s Ground
A garden like no other
David Wheeler, editor of Hortus and co-creator of Bryan’s Ground
About Malcolm Temple
Born in 1949 in Southend-on-Sea, Malcolm Temple burst onto the British art scene in the late-1970s.
The son of a painter and decorator, he says that he was “born with a hammer in one hand and a paintbrush in the other”; his willingness to work in almost any medium is one of the characteristics of his Art.
Trained at Wimbledon Art School (in Stage Design) and the Central School of Art (in Sculpture), he first gained attention and a certain notoriety with a series of punk portraits. From there he moved into what he describes as Furniture Art, including rugs, folding screens, and mosaics, as well as pieces of actual furniture.
His art has been exhibited in cities such as London, Munich, Amsterdam and Sydney, and sold to a wide range of private collectors, as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum. Thanks in part to his brash yet engaging manner and the photogenic quality of his work, he regularly featured in the media, including profiles in national publications such as the Times, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, Arena and Harper’s & Queen, as well as more serious creative publications like Blueprint and the Arts Review. He was also involved in the world of fashion, appearing, for example, as a regular catwalk model for Comme des Garçons, as well as painting backdrops for a Marni shoot, also acting as a brand ambassador for Blazer.
In 1989, following a disastrous exhibition in Tokyo, a period of reflection resulted in his work evolving a calmer means of expression and the inclusion of Garden Design and Architecture. Malcolm met Karen Roberts in 1999, and after a decade of living together, their desire to work on a grand project emerged. This required a move from London.
They bought Pant Hall in 2012, with the view to the entire property becoming both the continuation and culmination of Malcolm’s work as an artist. And, together, they have transformed six acres of sheep pasture into a garden like no other.
A technical tour de force… Almost heroic vision… I’ve seldom seen such versatile invention so well harnessed, to express so much joy.
A fashion-conscious frock-coated maverick, with progressive thoughts about all forms of art.
A master of the objet trouvé… Ingenious and unexpected… Bold and colourful… Like stepping into a surrealist picture… By putting ordinary objects in extraordinary combinations, artist and designer Malcolm Temple has created a shrine to the imagination.
Harpers & Queen
A hallmark of bright, vivacious colours and bold but intricate patterns and shapes… Bright Picassoesque rugs, giant vases whose mosaic surfaces swarm with fish, huge canvases of punks with rainbow hair, tables and chairs whose legs are ornately etched by hand.
His work appeals to those who are confident of their taste.