Stourhead Garden & Estate in England
In mid-June we visited the Stourhead garden and estate outside of London. We had limited time in England so this was the only major garden we were able to visit on our trip. Plus, it just happened to be along the route we were already taking to get to Stonehenge.
I loved the garden. Since we got to Stourhead around lunch, we stopped at the cafe for a couple sandwiches and drinks to enjoy in the garden. This was our first impression of the garden:
On our walk around the garden we talked briefly with one of the chattier guides, who filled us in on the story behind the garden. Apparently, it all started with Henry Hoare II in the 1740’s. We were told Henry wanted to add “focal points” to the woods behind his estate so he could ride his horse around a trail and see grand buildings (or destinations) in the distance. Henry had a grand vision. He not only built his own Pantheon, Temple of Flora, Temple of Apollo and a grotto, he strategically placed each one around his man made lake.
The next big change to the landscape happened in 1785 when Henry’s grandson, Richard Colt Hoare, inherited the estate. Before Richard came along, only native trees and plants dotted the landscape. He added his personal touch by collecting exotic trees and plants and turning the landscape into the park-like garden it is today. The National Trust has owned and maintained the estate since the 1940’s, making it available to everyone (for a fee). I highly recommend visiting this garden.
We took many pictures on our walk around the garden. Here are our favorites: