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Welcome to the home of the Hylands Horses Project. The project is a partnership between Chelmsford City Council and Hawthorn Heavy Horses and to return working horses to the Hylands Estate. Located on the outskirts of Chelmsford, Essex, Hylands House and the newly opened Stables Centre is a stunning heritage venue set in 574 acres of Grade II* listed parkland.

Using rare breed Suffolk Punch and Shire horses, we aim to support the management of the Hylands Estate by providing environmentally sensitive management and visitor attractions, including carriage rides, harrowing and field work, timber extraction and heavy horse related educational talks.  Specific dates for coming to visit our horses can be found in the links on the right-hand side of this page.

holly and george at hylands

Holly and George, the original Hylands Horses outside Hylands House
Project History

The Hylands Estate consists of 574 acres of important grade 11* listed parkland, and is the largest area of public open space in the borough. Chelmsford City Council purchased the estate in 1966 (under the Physical Training and Recreation Act of 1937) when the house and other estate buildings were in a very dilapidated condition, with an uncertain future.

Following stage one and two applications, the Council were delighted to hear back in March 2003 that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved a grant towards the Hylands Estate restoration project in the region of £3.2 million. The Councils Executive Committee also supported the project and approved the remaining funding for the project, and entered into contract with the HLF in February 2004.

The work covered the restoration of the Repton landscape, including parts of the Pleasure Gardens, the Serpentine Lake, final phase of the Hylands House restoration, the relocation and improvements to the estate grounds' maintenance depot at Home Farm, repairs to flint cottage, and the conversion of the listed stable block to form a new visitor centre. This work was completed by 2006.

The final part of the HLF project was to reintroduce heavy working horses back to Hylands. A partnership was formed between Chelmsford City Council, Writtle College and Hawthorn Heavy Horses to provide the technical expertise to ensure that the project will succeed. The project then commenced in May 2008, and the horses first arrived at Hylands in June.   Suffolk Punch horses and were chosen because they are the local heavy horse breed, and also because they were resident on the estate during it’s last period of private ownership by Mrs Hanbury from 1922 to 1962. Local people still talk of the Suffolks who were used at Hylands and on the surrounding farms, and it is a real achievement to have them back and working.  A Shire was purchased in 2013 to add capacity to the team.  For more information on the horses please click HERE.
Hylands Horses Grazing

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    latest news from hylands, updated regularly

    Carriage Rides Schedule 2017

    We have released our dates for Carriage rides in Spring and Summer 2017.  Please click HERE to download the schedule.  Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates too (Posted 02/06/2017)

    Experience Days

    Are you interested in spending a days carriage driving or horse-logging at Hylands Park?  Then find out more about our Experience Days by clicking here.

    Hylands Firewood
    Bags of firewood logs produced by the Hylands Horses are available from the Stables Visitor Centre.  These are the same size as the ones commonly found on forecourts of Garages, and are priced at £4.50 each.  Unlike some suppliers our logs are excellent quality hardwood, mainly Hornbeam and Ash, which are produced from the sustainable coppicing that we are now doing on the estate to conserve the valuable woodland habitats at Hylands and other local woodlands.  In addition it is very sustainable with very little carbon used in it's production, making it possibly the most environmentally friendly fuel in Essex!   Bulk loads are also available to order through the shop priced at £90/cubic metre,


    click here for the hylands diary of events


    Related Links:

    hawthorn heavy horses homepage

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