The Parterre and Terraces

The magnificent Queen Anne façade at the rear of the house overlooks a wide expanse of lawn from which a broad flight of steps leads down to the lower terrace where in 2000 a parterre designed by Charlotte Molesworth was laid out to celebrate the millennium. The pattern of box hedges, gravel and planted enclosures was taken from a detail of the early-18th century view of the garden by Harris, thus giving continuity over a period of three centuries.

From the parterre the view extends out over the village cricket ground immediately below and the rest of the main area of parkland beyond. It is a very different scene to the years after the war when the terraces were overgrown and a series of army Nissen huts survived on the lower terrace from the years of military requisition.

To the front of the house with its Palladian portico added in the 1840’s, flights of steps in the middle of terraced lawns lead up to a yew-hedged walk at the top of which is the lime avenue. An early-18th century view of the garden shows a formal axis here and the avenue of red-twigged limes, Tilia platyphyllus ‘Rubra’, was planted to recreate the same vista in 1984 to mark Brook FitzWalter’s 70th birthday. Positioned at the top as an eye-catcher is a large stone urn on a pedestal that was positioned a few years later, in 1991, to celebrate Brook and Margaret FitzWalter’s 40th wedding anniversary.

The terraces form a natural amphitheatre capable of accommodating a thousand
people picnicking and enjoying music, opera or theatre performed in front of the house’s
magnificent Palladian façade

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