History of the park

The park through the ages

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Parson's pond in the Ickworth deer park.

Lord Bristol's achievements were admired by various guests that visited Ickworth after he completed the park developments.

'The finest park'

There are over 900 acres of Parkland at Ickworth

Thomas Robinson described Ickworth in 1731 as 'by much the finest park I ever yet saw'.

'Well stocked'

An anonymous diarist of the 1750s remarked on Ickworth's 'fine country views', noting that it was 'well-stocked with cattle, sheep and deer'.

Mr 'Capability' Brown

The Albana walk offers splendid views over Ickworth park

The Albana walk offers splendid views over Ickworth park

The 2nd Earl continued his father's work on the park between 1769 and 1776 by employing a well-known landscape architect known as Mr 'Capability' Brown. We don't know exactly what Mr Brown contributed as his account book does not specify the work done, but we suspect he was responsible for improving the approach to Ickworth Lodge, the family home at the time. It is also highly likely that he laid out the bones for the beautiful Albana Walk and even designed the route for the main drive which is still in use today.

18th-century objectives

The sheep get the best views! © Andrew Butler

In the 18th century, one of the main aims in landscape design for country houses was to give attractive, sweeping views over the countryside.

19th-century screening

Delight in the view of the Rotunda as you walk through the trees © NTPL

By the 19th century, the owners of Ickworth sought to enclose the park by dense plantations. People from outside the grounds could only see the very top of the Rotunda.

The Fairy Lake

The Fairy Lake and adjacent Round House (now a holiday cottage) were created by the 3rd Marquess in the 19th century for pleasure. The ruined remains of a former boat-house can still be found there.

The Obelisk

The Earl-Bishop's Obelisk stands tall in sepecially-designed surroundings

The Earl-Bishop's Obelisk stands tall in sepecially-designed surroundings

In 1817, the people of Derry erected an obelisk in memory of the Earl-Bishop. The woodland around it was created by the 1st Marquess who employed labourers to plant a series of woods along the boundary of the park forming an appropriate setting.