It’s a lovely time of the year to visit Milntown. We take a look behind the scenes at the Biosphere Partner estate in Lezayre:
You may think of Milntown as a house, garden and café, and you would be right. But there is much more to it.
Milntown Estate has the only Manx historic house open to the public, over 15 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens with something for every season, a beautifully appointed conservatory café overlooking the walled garden, three self-catering apartments, a collection of rare vintage vehicles and a recently refurbished working water mill.
Did you know that Milntown is a charity? This historic estate was left in a private trust by Sir Clive Edwards for the good of the people of the Isle of Man and for those who visit our glorious shores. All proceeds generated at Milntown are fed back into the estate, primarily for the upkeep and restoration of the house and grounds.
Janeen Whiteway, Business Manager, heads up the estate and is responsible for the day to day running and aims to continue improvements for a complete visitor experience.
Janeen says: 'This can only be achieved with the help and continued support of our team of more than 20 staff. We are fortunate to have an army of volunteers who help in and around the gardens, and with house tours, together with a team of vehicle enthusiasts who repair and maintain our rare vintage vehicles collection.'
It is important to Milntown that it is active within the community and it achieves this in many ways by providing free educational visits and placements for budding horticultural students, giving practical skills useful for when they finish their course.
Adam Quayle, Garden and Facilities Manager, says: 'The gardens were host to a work placement scheme and consequently employed three placements who now work full time in our garden. All went on to achieve horticultural qualifications from University College Isle of Man.'
In 2020, Milntown was recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in becoming a Partner Garden, the first garden on the Isle of Man to have received this award. This is a real testimony to all the garden team and something it is very proud of.
The onsite café incorporates local produce in all its dishes including organic herbs, fruit and vegetables grown just steps away in Milntown's vegetable garden, helping to reduce the distance food travels from supplier to plate.
Janeen said: 'In today’s climate crisis, it is important we know where our food comes from and support local suppliers where possible.
'Kitchen waste goes to the garden to be made into compost and our water supply for the grounds is supplied from the lake via an electric pump. We are actively looking at ways in which we can improve and become even more environmentally friendly, by harvesting rainwater, planting trees or much smaller efforts such as using biodegradable cups.'
Each year, the estate is host to many weddings, events and workshops. Sophie Stoutt, Events and Marketing Co-ordinator, says: 'It is wonderful to be able to work so closely with other local charities, like Manx Wildlife Trust, to showcase the variety of wildlife we have here at Milntown.'
Milntown is open daily and looks forward to welcoming you soon.
Facebook and Instagram: @MilntownEstate
Phone: 01624 812321