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The Deer Park

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Graceful landscaped parkland with the spires of Stamford in the distance. The park has evolved along with the House over many generations.

The first reference to the gardens or park at Burghley was in 1561 during the initial building phase of the House but very little remains of this first planting other than the large leaved lime on the west front.

There followed two main phases of park landscaping; the first came with the 5th Earl of Exeter (1678-1700) who engaged the services of George London and Henry Wise of The Brompton Nurseries to lay out avenues of trees in a ‘patte d’oie’ or goosefoot arrangement. This was in addition to the elaborate formal gardens that the 5th Earl added to the grounds of his newly refurbished house.

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Between 1755 – 1779, the 9th Earl (1725 – 1793) employed Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to landscape the park in the current fashion, sweeping away many of the London and Wise avenues and formal gardens, creating the Serpentine Lake and planting intimate groups of trees around the perimeter of the park to provide context but also to indulge the new sport of game shooting.

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Today the park has a largely ‘Capability Brown’ feel, with one or two of the London and Wise avenues remaining intact. Most notably, Queen Anne’s Avenue which consists of four rows of limes which lead from the south front up to what is now the A1. Also its mirror image, north avenue which begins in front of the north court of the House and runs just short of the Barnack Road.

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Queen Anne’s Avenue was felled and replanted with Tiliaxeuropea ‘Pallida’ 1987 – 1997 and is now growing on strongly. North Avenue is being felled and replanted between 2003 – 2020 and also being restored with both Tiliaxeuropea ‘Pallida’ and Tall Clone trees. These are being propagated from the old stumps to ensure a free source of trees and an historically correct avenue restoration.

To ensure age succession with the Capability Brown landscape, we are planting young trees close to existing originals. This management will ensure we continue to enjoy Burghley Park well into the future.

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