A woodland garden created in the 1950s with lakeside walks, ornamental waterfowl and herbaceous borders. The site was gifted to the World Wildlife Fund but is now under threat from development.
The main feature of the site is a large lake of almost three acres. Originally a fishpond formed in a natural valley by daming up the lower end with a bank, the lake is fed by a spring. The lake has a sluice at its western end that creates a marsh. Specimen trees were planted around the lake in the mid-1950s and woodland walks created around the lake which is stocked with exotic wild fowl.
A terrace runs along the south facade of the main house with steps leading down to a lawned area with views across the lake and the colourful herbaceous borders. There is a further tier of lawn beyond with mature specimen trees. To the west of the house is a further enclosed garden with a stone wall to one side, ornate pond and mature shrubs and specimen trees interspersed throughout.
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Originally part of the Sussex manor of Hertinges and given to the de Bohun family in the 1100s, by 1158 it was known as the Manor of Rogate-Bohunt. Around 1770 William Richardson bought the estate and rebuilt the old house, retaining an extensive walled garden.
In 1923 the house was put up for sale as part of the Foley estate and in 1927 a new house designed by Unsworth was built on the site of the Richardson house.
In 1953 the house was bought by Sir Adrian and Lady Holman returning to England from a life in diplomatic service. They dredged the lake and the late George Brown, assistant curator at Kew Gardens came to give advice on landscaping and planting.
In 1974 Sir Adrian died and bequeathed the estate to the World Wildlife Fund with Lady Holman having the right to live there for the rest of her life.
A newspaper article from 1981 describes the forty species of waterfowl resident on the lake including East African and West African cranes, Hawaiian Geese, Eider Ducks, Dabbling Ducks and Laysan Teal. The gardens are described as having the biggest tulip tree in the south of England as well as a 'hankerchief tree' and a rare species of chestnut, Aesculis Indica.
Following the death of Lady Holman in 2005, the WWF decided to sell Bohunt Manor.
- Associated People
- Features & Designations
- Woodland Garden
- Ornamental Lake
- Kitchen Garden
- Herbaceous Border
- Garden Ornament
- Key Information
Domestic / Residential
Open to the public