The Garden Guide

Cirencester Park

This leading example of the English Forest Style of garden design requires an informed eye and an enthusiasm for walking. The park is 8 km long and 4.8 km wide. Stephen Switzer may have advised on the design. Alexander Pope came here over a 30 year period and invested money in the afforestation. Its planting was Lord Bathurst's major achievment. The forest is transected by a goose-foot of avenues, inspired by baroque geometry. But the intention was to make a rural retreat which would be useful and peaceful. It was not designed, like the High Baroque gardens of France to impress, visitors with the owner's wealth, power or fashionable taste. By far the best view of the park is from the top of the church steeple in Cirencester.

Paul Foye
Alexander Pope's Seat

Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, GL7 2BT

Park free all year. Open dawn to dusk (the house is not open)

Visit the Cirencester Park website

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Designers and Influences