arts & crafts gardens

Vernacular architecture was ignored on the national stage until William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti rented Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire and launched the rediscovery of the Cotswolds in the 1870s. An influx of designers and artists followed them. Ernest Barnsley created Rodmarton Manor; a great Arts & Crafts house partnered by a restrained summerhouse and formal garden. Norman Jewson was responsible for the terraced garden, pool and pergola at Glenfall House near Cheltenham which in 2015 became the county’s most recent addition to the national register of historic gardens.

Sir Edwin Lutyens worked at Abbotswood on the fringe of Moreton in Marsh creating a typical stone rill and moon pool that contribute to the garden’s registration at Grade II*. Although the planting possibly warrants its elevation to the highest level. This was the work of the owner Mark Fenwick. It included an alpine meadow, a wild garden and a heather garden and it influenced recent great plantsmen such as Russell Page and Graham Stuart Thomas. Fenwick and Abbotswood continue to reach out to today’s gardeners through plants such as Potentilla fruiticosa  ‘Abbotswood’ and Nerine bowdeii  ‘Mark Fenwick’. But there is always more to discover and the Trust has also recently become aware of the important contribution to the setting of Abbotswood made by the adjacent medieval park of Lower Swell.

Other Arts & Crafts delights in Gloucestershire include M.H. Baille Scott at Snowshill, Jewson again at Cotswold Farm and Lawrence Johnston at Hidcote.