The Garden Guide

Mapperton Gardens

A Jacobean manor house (c1660) with an 'Italian' garden laid out in the 1920s. There are some interesting features: an orangery, a croquet lawn, topiary, fish ponds and a shrub garden. Pevsner wrote that 'there can hardly be anywhere a more enchanting manorial group than Mapperton. The garden was used for TV productions of Emma and Tom Jones.

Head Gardener's Comment

Home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton is a glorious sandstone manor house and romantic valley garden deep in a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside. Fifteen acres of gardens descend from the croquet lawn, through the formal topiary down to the wild garden.

Photograph © Mapperton/George Wright
Photograph © Mapperton


The valley gardens at Mapperton reflect at least three periods of history. On the top level is the croquet lawn, where in dry weather the remains of a parterre, possibly 17th century, can be made out. On the next level is the Italianate garden laid out by Mrs Ethel Labouchere in her husband’s memory in the 1920s, complete with grottoes, stone ornamental birds, animals and fountains. An orangery was added by Victor Montagu in the late 1960s, the current Earl of Sandwich’s father. Below the wall and summer house are fish ponds which lead to the wild garden with its wonderful specimen shrubs and trees. Read more at

Mapperton Gardens, Mapperton, Beaminster, Dorset, England, DT8 3NR

The Gardens are open from 1 March 2017 until 31 October from 11am to 5pm every day of the week except Saturday. The House is open from 2 April 2017 until 31 October from 12pm to 4pm every day of the week except Friday and Saturday. The House can be visited by guided tour only, usually starting at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. The Sawmill Café is open from 2 April 2017 until 31 October from 11am to 5pm every day of the week except Saturday.

House & Garden - Adults: £12, children under 16 free. Adult season ticket (free entry all season): £30 individual, £45 two people. Garden only - Adults: £9, children under 16 free. Garden entry is half price in March. Group rates are available for groups of over twenty people by appointment. Call 01308 862645 or email for more details.

Visit the Mapperton Gardens website

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