The formal Edwardian Hestercombe Garden has been described as ‘Lutyens at his best’. Designed just before the First World War, it contains one of the great masterpieces of the collaboration between Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll.
The garden is laid out beside an uninspiring Victorian mansion which now contains Somerset County Council offices. In complete contrast, the garden on three levels and beautiful formal stonework with Lutyens’ seats, steps, pergolas, pools and iris-fringed rills, fed by high water-spouting masks, is pure enchantment. The whole is planted with Jekyll’s inspired combinations of colour and form, from records in her own hand, which survived, pinned up in the potting shed.
Above and behind this garden is a restoration of a Georgian romantic landscaped pleasure garden dating from the 18th century, comprising fourty acres of lakes, temples and delightful wooded walks. This was originally created by Copleston Warre Bampfylde, a friend of Henry Hoare II, the designer of the famous garden of arcadian images at Stourhead.