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Cottesbrooke Hall

Listed under Gardens in Northampton, United Kingdom.

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Such a pretty house (supposedly Jane Austen’s model for Mansfield Park) set in some wonderful 18th century parkland although the identity of the original architect has been lost. There is no sign of any garden from that time - one of the essential problems with Northamptonshire is that people came here, mostly, to hunt. It is my experience (backed up by history) that anybody who has more than three horses can’t really be bothered with gardens. Therefore these gardens have been mostly developed during the twentieth century and show the hand of many important designers over the years including Dame Sylvia Crowe, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and Robert Weir Schulz. The main terrace herbaceous borders have recently been completely replanted (by me - this is turning into a slightly embarrassing exercise in self promotion) and the Dutch garden (a charming enclosed courtyard) has been redesigned by Angel Collins. The terrace borders are based around a framework of large yew cubes and overhung by sweeping cedars. They have been replanted with long skeins of strong growing perennials studded with bulbs and waving grasses. Cottesbrooke has always been renowned for its displays of dahlias, salvias and other tender perennials and by leaving space for these within the borders they look great deep into the autumn. There is also tumbling water in the wild garden, statues of assorted worthies (originally made by Peter Sheemakers for the Temple of Ancient Virtue at Stowe) and the most wonderful views out towards the surrounding villages.

Cottesbrooke Hall Homepage.

Written by  James Alexander-Sinclair.

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