Fyne Court, Broomfield, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2EQRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Nestled in the Quantock Hills is Fyne Court’s lost garden. Take in the fascinating wildlife and glimpse the historic landscape as you follow the red trail around the heart of Fyne Court Estate.
- Grade of walk: Trainer (all rounder)
- Type of walk: 'Hidden Places', 'Flora & Fauna'
- Bus stop
Start: Fyne Court car park, grid ref: ST223320
Cross the cobbled courtyard and climb the steps at the far end of the lawn.
The 18th and 19th-century courtyard buildings (coach house, stable, library and music room) are all that survived the 1894 fire which destroyed the Crosse and Hamilton familys home. The scientist, Andrew Crosse, created a fine landscape garden with varied views, trees and flowering shrubs, water features and buildings. His nephew, Richard, and his son, Andrew, also developed the garden and wider landscape. In the 20th century, Fyne Court fell into decline. Look out for surviving elements of the historic lost garden - the serpentine lake, boathouse, round-towered folly and the walled garden with ornamental trees and shrubs.
Follow the path across the lawn and cross over the driveway.
Fyne Court may look natural but the rangers and volunteers work hard to maintain it and the gardens structure is still there. Thick undergrowth supports a variety of wildlife including bats, roe deer and dormice. Dormice like to climb amongst the branches of trees; their main food source is hazel which is coppiced on a longer rotation to ensure there's a good crop of nuts. Deadwood piles are purposefully left, providing a valuable habitat for invertebrates, fungi, and mosses, as well as a food supply for birds. As the wood breaks down it also provides valuable nutrients for the soil.
Continue along the path to the boathouse and cross the stream. Look out for a folly to your right along the way.
Perhaps the most famous of all Fyne Court's residents was Andrew Crosse. He had many interests, such as geology and poetry, but he is mostly remembered for his scientific experiments with electricity. Lots of his experiments were conducted in the music room. In certain weather conditions, such as heavy storms, the equipment that he set up would cause the windows of his laboratory to be brilliantly lit up by continual flashes of light, and loud bangs were to be heard emanating from the house. He was soon nicknamed the 'Thunder and Lightning' man.
Follow the path through the woodland, which is dominated by beech. In the spring this area is carpeted with bluebells.
After the bridge, the path splits in two, take the right-hand path. As you walk along you'll notice small quarries, these provided building stone for the original house.
Continue along the path, turning right at the junction at the top of the hill. At the bottom of a flight of steps turn right.
On your left is the walled garden, with a small pond on your right. The garden would have been used to supply fruit and vegetables to the house and would have incorporated a large greenhouse.
Continue past the larger pond on your left and then take the steps down.
At the bottom of the steps turn right. This path will take you back to the courtyard.
We hope that you really enjoyed this one-mile walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of countryside for the enjoyment of all. We need your support to help us continue our work to cherish the countryside and provide access to our beautiful and refreshing landscapes. To find out more about how you too can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk
End: Fyne Court car park, grid reference: ST223320
In partnership with
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
- Time: 30 minutes to 40 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 182
This is a circular walk that follows a simple set of red waymarkers around the heart of the Fyne Court estate. The terrain is varied. There are some steps and the ground can get muddy, especially after wet weather. Dogs are welcome but keep a close eye on them, or keep them on a lead.
- How to get here:
- By train: Taunton, 5 miles (8km); Bridgwater, 7 miles (11.2km)
- By car: Exit M5 at junction 24, follow A38 towards Taunton then take a right towards Broomfield. Fyne Court is very near the church, 5 miles (8km) north of Taunton, near Kingston St Mary
- Contact us