THE Countess of Warwick’s historic gardens, near Braintree, have won their first prizes at a show named after her for more than 100 years.

A pumpkin grown at the Gardens of Easton Lodge scooped the John Perry Cup after being judged the biggest on view at the Countess of Warwick Show.

It was grown in the walled garden from seed by preservation trust volunteer Maria Medlycott.

It is the first time the gardens have picked up the award since 1910.

Sue Gilbert, who is a member of the preservation trust which manages the gardens, said: “We got a very good reception from the horticultural show committee because it was the first time they can remember having entries from the gardens.

“Because it is the Five Parishes show I thought it would encourage community spirit.

“I have been so impressed with the commitment of the volunteers that I thought others should be able to share in our success.”

The preservation trust also claimed the Alan Pryer Cup at the show for a display featuring native Mexican dahlias.