The Garden Landscape Guide

Stourhead Garden

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.

Stourhead Estate Office, Stourton, nr Warminster, Wiltshire, England, BA12 6QD

Garden: Apr-Sep daily 9am-7pm, Oct-Mar daily 9am-5pm or dusk if earlier. House: 12th Mar-3rd Nov daily 11am-4.30pm, 9th-24th Nov Sat & Sun only 11am-3pm, 30th Nov-22nd Dec daily 11am-3pm. Last admission is 30mins before closing King Alfred's Tower: please call for opening arrangements 01747 841152

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  • over 2 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    went to stourhead today had a lovely walk round gardens then lunch in the spread eagle pub with log fire then a vist to the house only down stairs open for christmas trees all lite up for christmas the old fashion way very nice to see will go back again may june time to see all in flower s rhododendron bushes magnolia tree december 11th and still hydrangerbushes still in flower and new shoots on the rhododendrontrees in red yellow orange leaves we picked the best day to go the fog had cleared by the time 10.30 we got there
  • over 4 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    Wowz its "beaUtiful"
  • over 5 years by Katrina Underwood 5 / 5

    Stourhead is always interesting and worth visiting whatever the time of year and is particularly wonderful in the Autumn. 2010 was an excpetionally good year!
  • over 6 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    one of our favorite places on our recent trip to the UK. Simply stunning!
  • almost 7 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    Stourhead is really great. It is a place worth to visit.
  • over 8 years by Andrew22 5 / 5

    Stourhead Landscape Garden is very famous and very beautiful, in fact I think it is the prettiest of the landscape gardens in England.

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Stourheadgardenwiltshire Stourhead Garden
Stourhead garden wiltshire Stourhead Garden
Stourhead Garden, Autumn 2010 Photograph © Anthurium/Katrina Underwood
Stourhead Garden, October Photograph © Anthurium/Katrina Underwood
Stourhead Garden, Autumn Photograph © Anthurium/Katrina Underwood
Stourhead Garden, 2010 Photograph © Anthurium/Katrina Underwood