World-famous 18th-century landscape garden, Palladian mansion, parkland, woods and chalk downs. Alfred’s Tower overlooks surrounding estate.
The Home at Stourhead
This was the home of the Hoare family for generations, serving as a country escape from London. The Palladian villa finished in 1725, replacing the derelict Stourton Manor. Stourhead was one of the first grand Palladian-style villas to be built in England and as such it follows the correct tradition.
“The greens should be ranged together in large masses as the shades are in painting. To contrast the dark masses with light ones, and to relieve each dark mass itself with a little sprinkling of lighter greens here and there.”
– Henry Hoare “The Magnificent”
This garden, described as a “living work of art”, contains hills, water and classical architecture overlaid by a fabulous collection of trees and shrubs. Wander the meandering paths through the trees and to the classical temples, and enjoy surprises at every turn. Guided walks of the gardens are also available, led be volunteers.
The wonderful views and tranquility mean that in the summer, the lawns also become the perfect place for a picnic.
The garden first opened in the 1740s, with a vision was to create a classical landscape. This was dependent on water, and as such-the lake stands as the centerpiece of the garden, and the garden buildings such as the Temple of Flora, Pantheon and Grotto.
Sir Richard Coalt Hoare, who made changes to the design around this time to give us the garden as it is today, also made other changes to the design including the removal of some of the structures in the garden.