My first garden visit of 2020 was to Hanbury Hall, near Droitwich in Worcestershire. Commissioned in 1701 by Lord Thomas Vernon, it is a great example of a garden created before the fashion for formal gardens with their parterres, fruit gardens, wildernesses and avenues was swept away by the landscape designs of Stephen Switzer and ‘Capability’ Brown. Lord Vernon was a successful lawyer who employed Sir James Thornhill to decorate some of the interior of his newly-built house while choosing George London of the successful Brompton Park Nursery to create the gardens.
By using London’s original 1705 plans as well as other drawings, paintings and archaeological research, the National Trust began work in the early 1990s to recreate the formal garden. The Trust also used historic planting guides to fill the parterres and surrounding borders – winter is a great time to understand the structure of the garden without the distraction of flowers. On my visit, the only flowers in bloom were snowdrops in the Cedar Walk.
Many of the garden buildings were built after London’s death in 1714 including the entrance pavilions, the Orangery, the Mushroom and Ice House and the pointed brick arches of the Long Gallery.
More photographs from my visit and further details including the address, access for wheelchairs, whether dogs are allowed etc can be found on my website – click here