Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience Stavordale Priory, a Grade I listed building, first built as a priory of Augustinian canons in the 13th century.
It was converted into a private residence after the suppression of the monasteries in 1538 and became a farm for three centuries and then a gentrified Edwardian residence.
It has now been the home of Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Michael Le Poer Trench Esq for over thirty years. The gardens originally laid out by the previous owner and garden designer Georgia Langton have now been developed and extended by Michael and his team.
“Arts and Crafts” is an overused phrase, but if meaning a garden of outdoor rooms, topiary, stone walls and gorgeous “tapestry-style” planting it can apply to much of what we see at Stavordale. Beds overflow with richly coloured perennials with structure provided by tightly clipped box shapes and topiary yews. The vegetable garden is more a potager with fruit and flowers in the mix.
Michael’s birthday arboretum leads to the “Les Misérables” elephant and then through a woodland grove to a series of ponds and lakes surrounded by generous beds of moisture-loving primulas and iris. This is a garden of atmosphere and great horticultural passion and recently described by a garden enthusiast friend as incredibly romantic!
You will be free to wander around the gardens before making our way to a nearby eatery for a delicious lunch.
Photos: © Michael Le Poer Trench