Gatton was a deer park in the middle ages. In the eighteenth century, it became a landscape garden in the Serpentine Style, designed by Lancelot Brown. In the19th century, there were additions by Milner White and Son and by James Pulham and Sons (1888-1913). There is also a Japanese Garden, Rock and Water Garden, Walled Garden and Old World Garden.
The Gatton Park estate is one of Surrey’s hidden treasures, with a rich history that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086. The estate contains nationally important buildings and landscape features, many of which such as Gatton town hall, are still visible today. The current Gatton Hall was constructed in 1942, by its last private owner Sir Jeremiah Colman, of Colman’s mustard fame. In 1948 the estate was purchased by the Royal Alexandra and Albert School, who own it to this day.
Gatton's parkland and gardens have an illustrious past with many famous practitioners of English garden design contributing to the grounds. The dramatic parkland was laid out by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the English landscape style, between 1762-8 and still contains many of his trademark dramatic vistas, lakes and walks. The Edwardian pleasure gardens consisted of an imposing rock and water garden, a ‘Japanese’ garden and open lawns punctuated with mixed exotic tress and shrubs. As with many great English parks and gardens, they fell into neglect after the Second World War due to the lack of labour.
In the last decade the estate has again been reinvigorated, through the dedicated efforts of the Gatton Trust and the Gatton Park Education Trust. Staff and volunteers have worked diligently to begin to restore the park and gardens and to promote them for public leisure, education and as a community resource.
Plants of note
Stunning displays of snowdrops early in the year.
Gatton Park, Rocky Lane, Reigate, Surrey, England, RH2 0TW
February to October. First Sunday of the month. Open 1pm to 5pm.
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