West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens website : http://www.westdean.org.uk/Garden/Home.aspx

West Dean Gardens feature a restored Walled Kitchen Garden,  a spectacular 300-foot long Edwardian Pergola, a Spring Garden and beautiful  parkland walk and arboretum with views over  the surrounding South Downs.

West Dean Gardens is 90 acres in size, and includes many interesting architectural delights, national plant collections and unique features.

The Park, Arboretum and Gardens are on English Heritage’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and have Grade II status.

Since 1622, when James Lewkenor built the original manor house, numerous additions, extensions and erasures have taken place in the gardens, usually coinciding with major changes to the house generated by the change in ownership or the ideas of a new generation.

When the present house was built in 1804, the gardens were enlarged and park laid out, while the kitchen garden was moved to its present position and enclosed by walls. Many of the existing mature beeches, limes, horse chestnuts, planes and cedars date from this period and the present layout owes much to their planting. This was the age of the ‘picturesque’ whose exponents advocated a return to some formality, but with the use of exotic trees. In 1818 the garden was extended to the west and flint walls were raised to enclose the pleasure grounds in which people walked.

West Dean College is an internationally renowned centre for conservation, making and the visual and applied arts including musical instrument-making and tapestry weaving. The West Dean Estate is engaged in property management, farming and forestry. The College and related buildings are heated by woodchips from Estate-grown timber, one of the largest biomass heating schemes in the country. Income from West Dean Estate and the conference activities supports the Edward James Foundation’s charitable objectives. Visitors can also enjoy West Dean‘s award-winning gardens, featuring some of the finest Victorian glasshouses in the country, and the West Dean Gallery, which showcases work by internationally renowned and emerging artists as well as tutors and students of West Dean College.

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All information courtesy of http://www.westdean.org.uk/Garden/Home.aspx