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The Dutch Garden. Photograph by Sarah Jackson, June 2007. Copyright: Sarah Jackson, 2007. The restoration of the formal garden at Hestercombe in Somerset that began in the 1970s was the first attempt to restore a historic garden authentically ever undertaken by a local authority.

'The Restoration of the Formal Garden at Hestercombe 1973 to 1980' is a case study that explores how this pioneering work was carried out.

Thumbnail photo of the pergola at Hestercombe before restoration, 1972/3.Part 1 Introduction. An Edwardian Garden. In the hands of the Fire Service. Discovery of the original Jekyll plans. A restoration is proposed. The team.


Jim Stagg re-lays paving in Rose Garden in 1975.Part 2 The condition of the gardens. Restoring the hard landscaping. Restoring the rills. Restoring the planting. Existing planting. Interpreting Jekyll's plans.


The Grey Walk, looking west in 1974. Photographer: William E. Mount.Part 3 Timescales. Plant availability. The Grey Walk. Keeping maintenance down. Recognition. The planting progresses. The Great Plat. Planting the rills.


Foxgloves and roses in the West Rill in 1980. Photographer: Madeleine Pickthorne.Part 4 Missing plans. Maintaining the garden. Costs. A garden brought back to life. References and sources. Further information.



Thumbnail image of Hestercombe Formal garden plan.Hestercombe virtual archives contain digitised copies of plans and documents used during the restoration work of the Formal Garden: Planting methodology, Grey Walk plant list, East Rill plant list, West Rill plant list, and Plan of Formal Garden. For copies of the original Jekyll planting plans and the 1970s restoration plans, see Part 3 of the article on the restoration of Hestercombe.


Thumbnail image of part of Methodology document.Method of restoration of borders for Hestercombe Gardens is a transcript of the 1975 methodology used by the team during the restoration work.


Portrait of Bil Mount in February 2008. Photographer: Sarah Jackson.'Bill Mount: the right man in the right place' profiles  one of the people who was involved in the 1970s restoration work at Hestercombe. The article includes mention of other early garden restoration projects and the start of County Gardens Trusts. 


Hestercombe House and the Great Plat, 1979. Photographer: Madeleine Pickthorne.Hestercombe Formal Garden in the Resource Area contains photographs before, during and after restoration work.