World-famous 18th-century landscape garden, Palladian mansion, parkland, woods and chalk downs.
Lying in secluded privacy in its own valley, Stourhead features one of the finest landscape gardens in the world. Designed by Henry Hoare II as a place to entertain, the garden was laid out between 1741 and 1780. The magnificent lake is central to this iconic garden of classical temples and follies. Its lakeside paths and backdrop of colourful, rare and exotic trees reveal many beautifully contrived vistas, capturing the imagination of visitors for over two centuries. While the garden seasons change in beautiful succession, the majestic Palladian mansion, originally home to the Hoare family, houses a unique collection of Chippendale furniture, magnificent paintings and an exquisite Regency library.
Old Stourton House, a strongly defended manor-house, stood immediately in front of Stourhead house, facing south-east between it and the road. The site is marked by irregularities of the ground, trees and ‘subterranean vaults’. It was built by Sir John Stourton in mid-15th century, and comprised two large courts, one with an open hall and kitchen and a gatehouse – mentioned by Leland. It was besieged in 1644, but not taken down until 1720 or 1727. There are early illustrations of the buildings in Stourhead.
Winner of Sandford Award 2005