Goodnestone Park Gardens

Goodnestone Park Gardens

Goodnestone Park Gardens

Goodnestone Park

This is a 14-acre garden of memorable character with fine old specimen trees and panoramic views, around a brick-built 18th-century mansion with Jane Austen connections.

In front of the Palladian-style mansion, is a parterre which was laid out to commemorate the millennium.  Beyond, 18th century parkland containing the local cricket ground is being extensively restored. At the end of the garden are very ancient Spanish chestnuts which are the longest living of all deciduous trees.

From the porticoed rear of the house a vista follows the original early-18th century main axis of the garden. Red-twigged limes were planted in 1984 to recreate the original vista and to mark Brook FitzWalter’s 70th birthday. In 1991 a large stone urn on a pedestal was positioned at the top of the avenue as an eye-catcher, and to celebrate Brook and Margaret’s 40th wedding anniversary. On a rising slope to the right, a mature woodland garden with 1920’s rockery and pond has a shrubbery of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas under a collection of many interesting and unusual trees.

However, the contemporary masterpieces here are three interconnected exuberantly planted walled gardens which borrow the adjacent church tower as an eye-catcher on their central vista. Within the red brick walls, which bear abundant varieties of climbers including some wonderful wisterias, is a large collection of old fashioned roses, herbaceous and annual plants.

Jane Austen was a frequent visitor to the house, at that time the home of Sir Brook Bridges. Her brother Edward married a daughter of the house and lived nearby. She refers frequently to her Bridges cousins in her letters.


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