Batsford Park Arboretum

I should start this post by apologising because, in what looks like shaping up to be the sunniest week of the year so far, I’m going to plunge back into Winter.  These photographs were taken just over three weeks ago during a couple of days away in the cotswolds.  Promptly struck down with pneumonia on our return home I’ve been tardy  in writing this.  All better now though, so here it is.

Batsford Park estate near Moreton-in-Marsh was redeveloped in the late nineteenth century by the first Lord Redesdale.  The fifty six acres of informal gardens, influenced by his time working in China and Japan, also include the aboretum which houses the national collection of Prunus – Japanese Flowering Cherry as well as Japanese magnolias, maples and pines.

IMG_2323

IMG_2328Lord Redesdale was the grandfather of the Mitford sisters and their brother Tom, and her memoir Wait For Me!,  the youngest sister Deborah Devonshire tells of life on the estate saying:

‘ The place had been run on the extravagant lines of Edwardian England, with palatial stables for carriage horses, riding horses and grandfather’s famous stud of Shires.  My grandmother’s little book that records menus of many courses opposite the names of her guests (to ensure no repetition from one visit to the next) was unusual in such a household, but my grandfather was also a keen gardener and I have never seen, except in this little book, a description of the flowers on the dinner table.’

IMG_2331

IMG_2353

The family lived there until 1919, when the cost of upkeep proving too much, it was sold to Gilbert Willis, later Lord Dulverton.  Stepping conveniently over the garden centre, gift shop and tea room, it has altered little since and is now run by charitable trust the Batsford Foundation.

If you’re in striking distance and want to visit all the details are here.

    Pin It

3 Responses to “Batsford Park Arboretum”

  1. Laila Noort (@sowandso) March 6, 2013 @ 6:37 pm (#)

    What an extraordinary place. The cold and snow makes it even more special. Almost like its is a movie set. Very nice!

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — March 6th, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

      Unintentionally I think we chose the right time to visit. I’m guessing that like the rest of the cotswolds it’ll be mobbed come summer.
      Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the poly tunnel.

  2. Laila Noort (@sowandso) March 9, 2013 @ 7:30 am (#)

    I bet it will look a bit different during the summer, less like a fairytale, it must have been special to have the place almost to yourself now.
    I have marked out the spot for the tunnel, laid down some weed control cloth so the grass and dandelions will die down. Unfortunately it will be freezing and snowing again next week so I can’t continue. Will keep you posted on UKVeg!

Leave a Comment