Stourhead Gardens

In his youth, Henry Hoare II visited Italy. He became fascinated by the remains of classical and Renaissance Rome. Back at Stourhead, Hoare filled his garden with an extraordinary set of buildings and statues to remind him of his travels.

Which way do we go?

Standing high upon a hill at the western end of the garden is the Temple of Apollo. It was built in 1765 by Flitcroft, inspired by the circular temple of Baalbec in Syria.

It is dedicated to Apollo, the sun god who dwelt on Mount Parnassus and without whom no garden can flourish.

This quaint rustic building was first mentioned as the Watch Cottage in 1785, but is likely to have been built much earlier.

In 1806, Richard Colt Hoare added the Gothic seat and porch, hence its name the ‘Gothic Cottage’.

Inside of the Gothic Cottage #1.

Inside the Gothic Cottage #2.

Are you lost?

Some leaves still left on the trees after the recent strong winds.

View across the lack towards Six Wells Bottom.

The Palladian Bridge, built in 1762, was based on a bridge in Vicenza designed by Palladio and forms the centre point of many of the garden’s classic views. Although purely ornamental, the bridge also serves to create the illusion that the lake is a river, flowing from the village down into the valley.

Group with view of the Palladian Bridge in the background.

Sue and Helen setting the pace this time!

Stourhead Circular November 2010

This circular walk follows a route around the National Trust's Stourhead Estate. The great gardens of Stourhead were created in the 18th century by Henry Hoare, of the wealthy banking family. The walk takes in a variety of different landscapes.