Wrest Park Gardens

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Wrest Park Gardens are spread over 150 acres (607,000 m²) near Silsoe, Bedfordshire, and were originally laid out in the early 18th century, probably by George London and Henry Wise for Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent, then modified by Capability Brown in a more informal landscape style, without sacrificing the parterres. Wrest Park House was for generations the seat of the de Grey family, whose Mausoleum is at nearby Flitton.In the Great Garden, water catches the eye in every direction while intersecting alleys provide splendid vistas of the many garden buildings and ornaments. The park’s centrepiece is an example of French parterres divided by a wide gravel central walk, continued as a canal that leads to a very fine free-standing domed pavilion designed in full Baroque style by Thomas Archer in 1710, later provided with a naturalistic lake by Capability Brown. The surveyor John Rocque made a map of the gardens and garden houses at Wrest, 1735, dedicated to Duke Henry (Rocque catalogue: 5). The central formal area was retained instead of being swept away when it was ringed by a canal and woodland planned by Brown, circa 1758. During the later 18th and 19th centuries, the Bath House, and marble fountains were added. The huge Orangery was built by Earl de Grey.The estate at Wrest is the oldest lay estate in Bedfordshire [1] The present Wrest Park House was built in 1833-39, inspired by 18th century French chateaux; it has some of the earliest Rococo revival interiors in England. Part of the house is open to the public.The Wrest Park Gardens are now in the care of English Heritage.[ wikipedia, image copyright expired]

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