The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: British Gardens (1100-1830)

Medieval gardens in England

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547. Henry I. (1100 to 1135), the third king after William the Conqueror, had, according to Henry of Huntingdon (History, lib. 7.), a park (habitatio ferarum) at Woodstock; and it may not be too much to conjecture, that this park was the same which had surrounded the magnificent Roman villa, whose extensive ruins, occupying nearly six acres, have been recently dug up on the Duke of Marlborough's estates in that neighbourhood. Blenheim, the first residence in Britain, or perhaps in Europe, in respect to general grandeur, may in this view be considered as the most interesting in point of its relation to antiquity. Hentzner mentions this park as being enclosed by a wall; and says, that, 'according to John Rosse, it was the first park in England.'