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Mapperton House and Gardens

Visiting

Opening hours

Gardens and All Saint’s Church: 1st March – 31st October daily except Saturday: 11am – 5pm. Sorry no dogs allowed in the gardens but there are walks beyond the car parks. House: Weekdays 20th June – 29th July plus Bank Holidays 30th May and 29th August: 2-4.30pm (last admissions4pm). Booking is advisable

Contact

Tel. 01308 862 645

Postcode DT8 3NR

Details

Mapperton Gardens is a romantic valley garden deep into a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoilt countryside. The gardens descend from the great lawn, through the formal topiary down to the woodland garden. The manor house with its church,stable block, coach house, dovecote and courtyard identifies with its countryside, a glorious harmony of golden sandstone. Pevsner's Dorset guide says "there can hardly be a more enchanting manorial group than Mapperton." The house, Elizabethan in origin, enlarged in the late 1670s, is a marvellous example of a West Country manor in harmony with its surroundings, growing into the landscape with every century. Now the home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton continues to be a family house and harks back to the restoration of Charles II when the first Earl of Sandwich brought the King back from Holland.

The valley gardens at Mapperton reflect at least three periods of history. On the upper level, close to the house, is the Italianate garden laid out by Ethel Labouchere in her husband's memory in the 1920s, complete with grottoes, stone ornamental birds and animals and a fountain court. Below the wall and summer house are 17th century fish ponds. An orangery was added by Victor Montagu, former MP for South Dorset, who extended the lower garden with specimen shrubs and trees in the 1950s. The gardens contain many secret paths and walks. The surrounding countryside is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with many bridle paths and public rights of way. Further up the hill, looking east, there are views of Eggardon Hill and Hooke Park, and to the west and south, Beaminster, Lewesden Hill, Pilsdon Pen, Bridport and the cliffs along Lyme Bay.

Mapperton, Beaminster, Dorset DT8 3NR.

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