Archive for the ‘Dudmaston Hall’ Category

Uncloaking Dudmaston’s garden

August 13, 2015
Watercolour view of the house and park at Dudmaston, by Moses Griffith, 1793. ©National Trust Images

Watercolour view of the house and park at Dudmaston, by Moses Griffith, 1793. ©National Trust Images

The summer 2015 edition of our Arts, Buildings and Collections Bulletin has just been published. One of the contributions is an article by Sarah Kay about the garden at Dudmaston Hall in Shropshire.

The Big Pool at Dudmaston. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

The Big Pool at Dudmaston. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

As Sarah writes, the garden at Dudmaston has had a long and varied history. In the late eighteenth century it was a landscape garden, with the pastures coming right up to the house.

View of the entrance front of Dudmaston from the north-east. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

View of the entrance front of Dudmaston from the north-east. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Then in the nineteenth century the garden was embellished with terraces, parterres, island beds, ribbon borders and exotic specimen trees. The local Morfe Cottage Garden Society, founded in 1851, organised fiercely competitive annual flower shows.

Sculpture by Anthony Robinson in the grounds of Dudmaston. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Sculpture by Anthony Robinson in the grounds of Dudmaston. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Following retrenchment in the Edwardian period, the garden saw a renewed phase of innovation during the second half of the twentieth century. Sir George and Lady Labouchere reinvigorated the garden with the help of designer James Russell, even introducing contemporary sculpture into the grounds.

Path along the edge of the Big Pool at Dudmaston. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Path along the edge of the Big Pool at Dudmaston. ©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Now a project is underway to ‘uncloak’ some of the picturesque features and views which have been lost over the years, while simultaneously keeping alive the spirit of innovation shown by successive owners of Dudmaston.