Oxfordshire - Heritage Houses
From the 'City of Dreaming Spires' to the county's lush countryside and varied rural landscape, Oxfordshire is a destination which offers chance to uncover an array of historically-important heritage delights and horticultural gems. With borders to Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, the county's sheltered position and mild climate makes it perfect for all types of gardens. In whichever direction the compass points, there is scope to discover an array of gardens encompassing a range of styles and fabulous historic homes with histories and stories which span several centuries.
Buscot Park is home to a Neo-classical mansion and one of England's finest water gardens, and it is this fascinating combination of being magnificently grand in scale yet intimate in its feel which draws visitors back to visit time after time.
This is the family home of Lord Faringdon who continues to care for the property, as well as the Faringdon Collection, a vast collection of family pictures, furniture, ceramics and objects d'art which are displayed in the house. The eighteenth century house enjoys a delightful garden which is a prime example of the Italian mode of the Arts and Crafts. To cap it all, the landscaped grounds are quite enchanting and feature the beautiful Peto Water Gardens.
Stonor Park has been home to the Stonor family for over 850 years. The warm brick façade and Georgian windows conceal medieval buildings dating back to the 12th Century, inside are many original architectural features including the 14th Century Catholic chapel and 12th Century medieval hall which today is the Pantry serving delicious snacks and light lunches. Visitors can view family portraits, old master paintings, artefacts and collections from around the world. Including a small exhibition celebrating the life and work of St Edmund Campion who sought refuge at Stonor during the reformation.
Nestled in a Chiltern valley with stunning views of the fallow deer park full of wild life including buzzards and red kites, visitors can walk through to the 17th Century gardens with ancient terraces and lily ponds with fountains. The latest edition to Stonor is Wonder Woods a stunning adventure play park for our younger visitors. Our season starts with snow drop walks throughout the park and finishes in a flourish, visitors can experience the house beautifully decorated for the festive season. During the year Stonor plays host to a vast array of exciting events from supercar, food festival, jousting and wonderful craft fairs.
One of Oxfordshire's celebrated attractions is Blenheim Palace, a vast and sumptuous treasure house. Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, this masterpiece of 18th Century Baroque architecture delivers an awe-inspiring experience for visitors, which is reflected in its World Heritage Site status.
Tours, exhibitions and events reveal the sheer splendour of Britain's Greatest Palace, whilst there are also over 2000 acres of 'Capability' Brown parkland and Formal Gardens to explore, including the view over the lake at Blenheim, but that is for you to discover!
In the heart of Oxford's city centre is where you will find the oldest botanic garden in Britain. Built before the English Civil War, The University of Oxford Botanic Garden has stood for more than 375 years on the bank of the River Cherwell. This walled garden has evolved from a 17th century collection of medicinal herbs to become the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. A visit here will provide you with chance to view a range of herbaceous borders and delightful glasshouses, as well as opportunity to simply relax in and take in the peace of its ambient setting.
Located a mere seven miles from the heart of Oxford is where you will find Waterperry Gardens, a fabulous eight acres of beautiful ornamental gardens with a fascinating history.
Established as a School of Horticulture for Ladies in 1932, it is an oasis of calm and beauty, and the perfect place for inspiration for both complete novices and the more experienced gardener.
Amongst the garden's many features are a 200 foot long herbaceous border, formal knot and rose garden, water-lily canal, riverside walk and herbaceous nursery stock beds from which cuttings for the plants sold in the plant centre are taken.
An exciting re-development in progress is the ancient Walled Garden which will include a cutting garden, vegetables, orchards, a new water feature and viewing tower.