Apprentice Gardener - Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens

English Heritage

Northallerton, North Yorkshire
£21,416 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: food, farming & horticulture

Closing date: Sunday, 28th July 2024  

About The Team and Role

We’re the organisation that looks after England’s most important monuments, buildings, gardens and places, making sure our country’s amazing history is available for everyone to enjoy. From world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, Roman forts to a Cold War bunker, we bring the history of England to life.

This is an incredible opportunity for you to join as an Apprentice Gardener on a fixed-term basis, working 36 hours per week. You’ll be working at Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens near Northallerton and additionally at Richmond Castle and Barnard Castle, 24 miles and 39 miles away from Mount Grace.

Mount Grace Priory is the best-preserved Carthusian monastery (also known as a ‘charterhouse’) in England. The Carthusians were an order of monks founded by St. Bruno of Cologne in 1084. The 13 acres of gardens surrounding the monastery are unique, with a range of garden layouts dating back to the medieval period. Most recently the gardens benefitted from a programme of renovations, replanting and conservation (‘preserving and protecting’) under the creative leadership of landscape designer Chris Beardshaw. Chris used his expertise to create a design which brought the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style of the manor house out into the garden.

This apprenticeship will help develop your practical skills and increase your gardening knowledge to kick-start your career in horticulture.

What’s more, as part of our charity bringing history to life, you’ll be supported and encouraged to share your ideas, inspire others and make a difference to the way England’s rich past is experienced.

About The Role

As our Apprentice Gardener, you’ll play an active role in the gardens team, developing and broadening your plant knowledge and horticultural skills through hands-on gardening and expert guidance.

You’ll complete a Horticulture Operative level 2 apprenticeship with a designated training provider.

Further details about this apprenticeship standard (qualification) can be found on our website.

You’ll be assisting with the seasonal maintenance of the gardens and work closely with the garden team to learn skills in the care of specialised historic and botanic plant collections. You’ll be taught how to use garden machinery and develop skills in plant identification and recording.

We’d be delighted to hear from you if you’d like to chat with us about this apprenticeship role before you apply, for example, to talk about the apprenticeship course content, any learning or workplace adjustments, questions about eligibility to complete an apprenticeship etc.

About The Person

You’ll have some practical experience in an outdoor environment (either paid or unpaid). This needs to focus on some physical experience working outside in a practical capacity and could include examples like paid work in an associated business (like a garden centre), volunteering with a community gardening group or personal experience working on a garden / allotment.

In addition to the qualities listed in the job description, we’d love to hear from you if you meet the following apprenticeship eligibility criteria by the job start date (1st October 2024):

  • You’re 16 or older (you can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school but need to be 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays to start it);
  • You have Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English, equivalent to GCSE Grade 2 (previously GCSE Grade C) or above, or willingness to complete these qualifications as part of your apprenticeship (if you don’t have Level 2 currently please contact us to discuss how we can support you with this);
  • You’re not in full-time education or doing another apprenticeship or training programme already;
  • You don’t hold the same or higher level of qualification in the same subject as your intended apprenticeship (please contact us to discuss previous qualifications if you’re unsure);
  • You don’t have substantial relevant work experience (this will be checked if your application progresses);
  • You live in England (and have done so for at least the previous 3 years on the first day of the apprenticeship);
  • You have the right to work in England.

About The Organisation and Benefits


  • Salary £21,416 per year;
  • 25 days’ holiday plus Bank Holidays pro rata rising to 28 days after 3 years;
  • Matched pension contributions up to a maximum of 10%;
  • The opportunity to progress your career within the heritage sector;
  • Subscriptions to professional bodies;
  • Free access to all English Heritage sites for you and another adult, and up to 6 other people;
  • 25% discount in our shops and cafes;
  • Enhanced maternity / paternity / shared parental leave;
  • Options to buy additional leave;
  • An inclusive working atmosphere where everyone from all backgrounds, religions and with different needs will be supported;
  • Opportunities to go to some of our great live music or history events.

Find out more about us and what we do, meet some of our people and hear about why they enjoy working with us on our website.

Everyone is welcome at English Heritage. We are always looking for people who reflect the diversity of the country today, to help us make it more relevant to the diversity of the people, communities and places we serve. From remote sites to inner city monuments, from regional teams to our Head Office, the diversity of our teams is critical to making sure our heritage is inclusive, exciting and accessible. We continually look for new opportunities to promote the past in a way that is inclusive to all and that celebrates the cultural diversity of England`s heritage. By joining us, you will be part of a charity that is already on an exciting journey to tell everyone`s story with an inclusive working atmosphere where everyone from all backgrounds, religions and with different needs will be supported.

To support this work, we have several EDI networks that you can join as either a member or ally. These networks include Ethnic Diversity, Faith & Belief, Social Equity, LGBTQ+, Neurodivergence, Age, Disability and Gender Specific Issues.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 14th August 2024 at Mount Grace Priory, Staddlebridge, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 3JG.

The candidate offered this post will start at English Heritage on Tuesday 1st October 2024, with the apprenticeship course beginning mid-October.

There may be a requirement to attend a two-day induction on Monday 2nd – Tuesday 3rd September 2024 with the apprenticeship training provider Askham Bryan onsite at Askham Bryan College, Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3FR.

No agencies, please.

So, if you'd like to join us as an Apprentice Gardener, please select the button shown.

Other organisations may call this role Assistant Gardener, Apprentice Horticulturist, Trainee Horticultural Technician, Graduate trainee, Apprentice Landscape Gardener, or Trainee Groundsperson.

Find out more & apply