Stourhead is the best example of a garden inspired by the great landscape painters of the seveneeenth century. Ernst Gombrich suggests it should bear the signature of an Italianized French painter: Claude Lorrain (1600-82). The Stourhead garden was made by a wealthy English banker who had been buying works of art in Italy at the time he inherited the Stourhead estate. Henry Hoare II’s ‘Claudian’ garden was made in an unusually well-proportioned valley behind the house. The Temple of Flora at Stourhead was made in 1745 and the grotto in 1748. But the key date was 1754, when the lake and the Pantheon were made. It is based on the Pantheon in Rome and the planned walk through the estate is based on the journey of Rome’s legendry founder, Aeneas. The five-arched bridge was made in 1762 and the Temple of Apollo in 1765. Gothic features were added later in the century: Alfred’s Tower, a Rustic Cottage and a Hermitage.The Stourhead woods were underplanted with Rhododendron ponticum after 1791 and with more exotic species in the twentieth century.
Lying in secluded privacy in its own valley, Stourhead in Wiltshire features one of the world’s finest landscape gardens making it perfect for a fantastic day out.
A magnificent lake is central to the design at Stourhead, with the lakes edge being adorned with classical temples, enchanting grottos and rare and exotic trees to discover.
The Hoare family history can be uncovered in Stourhead House, a majestic Palladian mansion housing a unique Regency library with fabulous collections of Chippendale furniture and paintings, all set amid delightful lawns and parkland.
Stourhead is at the heart of a 1,072-hectare (2,650 acre) estate where chalk downs, ancient woods and farmland are managed for nature conservation and perfect to explore.