Iford Manor

Iford Manor

Iford Manor

Iford Manor

Iford Manor

Iford Manor

Iford Manor is a romantic Italian-style terraced garden of evergreens, statuary and terraces, designed by Edwardian architect and friend of Lutyens, Harold Peto, whose family firm built the Houses of Parliament and Nelson’s Column. This listed grade 1 garden is around what was once his own home.

Iford Manor has been occupied since Roman times and the manor house sits idyllically by the Frome river in this steep-sided valley. The manor house is mediaeval in origin, the classical facade being added in the eighteenth century when the hanging woodlands above the garden were planted.

In 1899 Harold Peto discovered the Manor and the individuality of the garden owes everything to his inspiration and eye for combining architecture and plants. Attracted by the charm of old Italian gardens, he laid out a formal garden on old terraces in a steep hillside, which he embellished with his own collection of classical statuary and architectural fragments. Steep flights of steps link the terraces with their pools, fountains, loggias, colonnades, urns and figures. Columnar cypresses add to the Italian atmosphere and many trees and shrubs flower among the statues. The formal garden contrasts with its rural surroundings, and idyllic views out over cattle grazing in meadows.

The current owners have restored the design and planting in accordance with Harold Peto’s vision and over the years, have also transformed the area of the Oriental garden in the woods above the garden.

A visit to the Peto Garden at Iford includes delightful features such as the Loggia, the Great Terrace, the Casita, and the Cloisters, the largest of Peto’s garden buildings, and the location for most of the recitals and operas that take place throughout the summer as part of the Iford Arts programme.

Set in 2.5 acres, a number of original plants remain: the standard Wisteria sinensis; Phillyria latifolia; Buxus sempervirens which also grows in tree form in the woods; Cupressus sempervirens; Hemerocalis citrina, the scented day lily and, in the long grass by the Cloister, naturalised Martagon lilies.

Iford Manor

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