To break my journey down to the southwest I decided to call at Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire for a few hours. I began my visit with lunch in the Servants’ Hall and spent the rest of my time in the splendid gardens.
The Sunken Parterre is the “Jewel” of Royal Gardener, George London‘s Great Garden at Hanbury established in 1705.
“The English garden was influenced heavily by Dutch, William of Orange’s Gardens at Palais Het Loo as well as those of Louis XIV at Versailles. In their interpretation by George London, garden designs became softer and more incorporative of the surrounding English Landscape.
London created gardens where his patrons could escape the tumultuous early eighteenth-century world within his formal designs, using mathematical precision and newly discovered and imported plants; he created a safe haven for drama, fun and recreation.”
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the gardens were swept away and replaced with wide open spaces and uninterrupted views. They remained as such for the next 200 years. But 21 years ago the National Trust set about recreating the gardens as they were under London’s direction. Using London’s original 1705 plans and other historic plans and drawings the Gardens and Park Manager worked with a team of experts to determine the layout of the topiary and hedge framework that made up the stunning structure of the Great Garden. Historic planting guides were also used to select appropriate plants to fill the parterre and surrounding boarders with colour and scent throughout the seasons. The hard work has paid of and they are now truly spectacular and positively luminous in this afternoon’s autumn light.
The Sunken Parterre
The Fruit Garden with Dairy behind
The Bowling Green
The Orangery and Mushroom House
The Formal Vegetable Garden
Formal Vegetable Garden and House
Leaving Hanbury Gardens – but it never did rain
A visit inside Hanbury Hall itself will have to wait for my next visit. I hope it will be as breathtaking as walking from ‘room to room’ in the gardens.