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‘A Garden…is the Purest of Human Pleasure. It is the Greatest Refreshment to the Spirits of Man’
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Hanbury Hall was built in 1701 for Lord Thomas Vernon, a successful London lawyer. The architect is unknown but the interiors were decorated by Sir James Thornhill and the gardens were laid out by George London.
London and Thomas Wise ran the Brompton Park Nursery in London; their first commission had been in 1682 at Longleat. Their style was Franco-Dutch with intricately patterned parterres, water-features, avenues and topiary. London was also influenced by the writings of John Evelyn and at Hanbury, London included a Wilderness and Grove with walks and views over the surrounding land.
Nothing remains of London’s design but by using ‘plans, maps, paintings and archeological and geophysical research’ the National Trust has recreated the garden as it would have been in the early 1700s.
It’s a wonderful example of a garden on the cusp between the Franco-Dutch style of gardening and the landscape movement of Stephen Switzer and ‘Capability’ Brown.
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