South Gardens

An injection of formality into Brown’s sweeping vistas, the south gardens represent a brief distraction from the rolling landscape of Brown’s overall design.

Viewed from the windows of the state rooms above, these gardens are dominated by the mature Oak and Lime trees, planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert respectively, in 1844. The yew hedges and topiary were added in the late 19th Century in a bid to reinstate some sense of a formal parterre or garden after so much was so boldly swept away in the 18th Century.

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The Burghley Estate is thrilled to have recently undertaken the restoration of the nineteenth century Blashfield terracotta urns which form the centrepieces of the fountains in the South Gardens.  This has been part of a programme of work through the winter to restore the fountains and rose garden installed in the 1960’s by the 6th Marchioness of Exeter.  The planting scheme has been rejuvenated using some more modern varieties of rose from David Austin which are free flowering and highly scented. The colour scheme is designed to be appreciated from the State Rooms and ranges from the palest to the deepest pink, leading the eye to the Capability lake and landscape beyond.

The stonework for this project has been carried out by Burghley Stonemasons and all the planting has been undertaken by our gardening team. For more information about the gardens join our Head Gardener, John Burrows, for a guided tour of the South Gardens at 3pm on Tuesday 17th, Thursday 19th and Tuesday 24th March. This is included with a House and Gardens or Gardens Only ticket.

These gardens will host a spectacular display of Narcissi from Saturday, 14th March to Sunday, 12th April 2015, when the Trust opens the garden to raise money for a local charity.

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Looking beyond the yew hedges and up onto the hillside two double rows of lime trees disappear into the distance which follow the original avenue commissioned by the 5th Earl and planted by Messrs. London & Wise in 1700. Whilst a few of London & Wise’s very mature trees survive in the park, in the late 18th century it was the vogue for such avenues to be thinned out near the House to create a more ‘natural’ landscape and leave the House itself as the sole dominating feature for all to admire.