River Wissey Lovell Fuller

A day out in East Anglia

November 2005

Graham reviews their trip to Wisbech, with visits to Elgoods Brewery and Peckover House

This suggestion is a full day out visiting two places in Wisbech. We went to Elgoods brewery first and then on to Peckover House but that was because we decided to have lunch at Elgoods and afternoon at Peckover House.

Elgoods is a 200 year old classic Georgian brewery situated on North brink, the road on the north side of the River Nene. It is best to go on a tour of the brewery first where you can watch traditional brewing methods using the original open copper vessels. After that you can go to the Visitor Centre's licensed bar where you can experience the delightful ales that you have just seen in production. From the bar, exit into a wonderful four acre garden which incorporates specimen trees, some about 200 years old. There are also herbaceous borders, walled gardens, lawns and a very tricky maze. The gardens have an interesting history as they were destroyed in the Second World War so that vegetables could be grown for the "war effort". It was not until 1993 that a resurrection took place following as closely as possible to the original plans.

Once you have concluded your visit to Elgoods, walk back along North Brink to Peckover House which is about 100 yards from the bridge over the Nene. Peckover is a beautiful example of a Georgian House and has three floors. It is renowned for its fine plaster and rococo decoration and includes displays on the Quaker banking family (the Peckovers). Outside is a two-acre garden that includes an orangery, summer houses, rose gardens, herbaceous borders, lawns, etc. There is also a converted barn where the usual high quality National Trust food is served. As with Elgoods, the gardens can be viewed on their own if you so wish.

Peckover House does not have a car park, so we parked in the very large Chapel Road car park (on the road running behind the house) and walked. Unfortunately, Elgoods do not re-open until next May but there are brewery tours on December 3rd and 4th. Peckover House is open until November 6th and opens next year in March. I do hope that you will be able to go on this day out and also appreciate the lovely old town of Wisbech.

Graham Forster

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