Historic Parks and Gardens

Phillips House, Dinton Park From Medieval deer parks through to 18th century landscape parks and Victorian pleasure gardens. Designed landscapes are an intrinsic part of what makes this living landscape special and are integrally linked to the hunting landscapes of the Cranborne Chase, Groveley and Selwood.

The AONB is blessed with nationally important designed landscapes and gardens associated with named designers through the ages such as Capability Brown, Humphrey Repton, Thomas Mawson and Gertude Jekyll. These include both very large scale 18th and 19th century landscaped parks and more intimate formal gardens with a multi layered history.

There are thirty five historic parks and gardens that are identified on lists compiled by the relevant county Gardens Trust as being of local importance. These are often smaller in scale and more intimate than the Parks and Gardens included on the English Heritage Register.

All the historic parks and gardens are associated with:

  • the settings of historic grand houses and manors.
  • planting and trees, including veteran trees, with the creation of key views and view points both within the landscapes and beyond.
  • listed built garden features including ha-has, temples and grottos and functional buildings with elaborate stylistic elements including carriage houses, walled gardens and lodges.
  • complex histories of redesign, reinvention and remodelling which continues into the 20th century.
  • Large number of Medieval deer parks are known in the AONB several of which survive as park pales or have been incorporated into later landscape parks.

Several of the historic parklands form the focus of importance visitor attractions in the AONB, including Longleat and Stourhead. Three are now in National Trust ownership, the rest are still in private hands and access is variable.

More information on the historic parks and gardens of the AONB can be accessed by clicking here: Theme 4: Historic Parks and Gardens.

This document forms part of the wider AONB Historic Environment Action Plans.