Manors and Gardens of the Cotswolds
The Cotswold hills with their mellow stone cottages, elegant manor houses and imposing castles contain some of the most important historic gardens in England. A virtual history of English gardens can be found in Gloucestershire, parts of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Although little survives of the Roman and medieval periods, some very early Renaissance gardens remain: Thornbury Castle and Horton Court are two remarkable early 16th century gardens. From the 17th century, the restored gardens at Westbury Court are well known, while ghosts of the late 17th-century gardens at Dyrham Park require some imagination to discover. The 18th century is represented by the poetic garden at Rousham, William Kent’s finest surviving landscape, as well as in Capability Brown’s most splendid creation at Blenheim Palace. Quirkier examples of the English landscape are found at Painswick and Sezincote. Modern gardens, too, are impressive: Hidcote Manor, designed by Major Lawrence Johnston, and Rosemary Verey's gardens at Barnsley House are considered to be among the most influential gardens of the last century. This lecture covers the history of the English garden, using both famous and little known gardens, all set in the most picturesque part of England.