William Shenstone, poet and writer, was born in Shropshire on 18th November 1714. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford from May 1732. From 1744 Shenstone withdrew to The Leasows, where he had boarded as a tenant. He set about turning the estate into a landscape garden. His main energies went into diverting streams to create waterfalls, and clearing undergrowth to display ‘natural' beauties from advantageous viewpoints.
Shenstone showed his many visitors round the serpentine walks and surprise vistas in a careful routine. The garden was filled with seats, urns, temples, and obelisks, many with inscriptions, in the structured form of picturesque contemplation made popular by the designer Batty Langley. Shenstone died at The Leasows on 11th February 1763.