Fairford Park 6934

Gloucestershire, England, Gloucestershire, Cotswold

Brief Description

This was what Verey described as 'an almost perfect Restoration composition' of house, garden and park, built next to the church and village of Fairford. Its formal Franco-English style was altered in the 18th century, first to a Rococco syle and then to the landscape style. The mansion was demolished in 1957 and a school was built on the site. The park and gardens reverted to farmland. Verey describes this as a 'tragic loss'.

History

This entry covers the garden and park in the period 1690-1720.

Detailed Description

This site is now lost.

Access & Directions

Directions

The site lies north of the village beyond the church.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Fairford
History

Detailed History

The following description relates to what is known of the site in the past, rather than its current appearance.

A new country seat replaced the earlier seat close to the church, built in 1661-2. The owner had prospered during the Commonwealth and created a garden in a formal English style with French influences. The garden included many areas for vegetables and a vineyard or hop garden. The River Churn to the west of the garden was canalised as a decorative feature. The two plans in the County Record Office are dated 1690 and 1710. The date of the Kip engraving is unknown but is almost certainly earlier than 1710. The plans and engravings are clearly very similar but show evidence of changing detail. The obelisk in the park in the line of the northern vista is shown in the 1710 engraving, although a later date is given for it by Verey. The 1690 plan shows field strips to the east of the park, which had disappeared by 1710. The only original structure remaining is the obelisk.

The Kip engraving shows the view from the north, with a central strip of formal English garden, surrounded to either side by extensive formal vegetable plots. To the east there is also a bowling green. The east side of the house has formal gardens, while the west side has service buildings and a formal vineyard / hop yard. To south of the house there is a formal walled entrance court leading to the drive which runs south to the village. It is lined by a double line of trees on either side with large formal grassed areas beyond them. There is a large formal orchard between this area and the canalised river to the west. The east side is walled with a double or treble line of trees along both sides of the wall. The plans show similar but slightly less geometric outlines.

Professor Mowl comments, in his book, of the prominence of the vegetable growing areas, also seen in Cirencester Park. There is some resemblance to French chateau gardens such as Villandry.

References

References

Contributors

  • Martin McNicol