A garden for all seasons

Black and white archive image of the Orangery in the garden at Dunham Massey

Once enjoyed exclusively by the Earls of Stamford and Warrington and their families, the garden now provides a tranquil haven for visitors and wildlife alike. Discover the history of Dunham's much loved garden...

Black and white archive image of a view of the house from the garden at Dunham Massey

Previously a garden of straight lines and regimented planting favoured by the 2nd Earl, the garden became the family’s pleasure ground under the 5th Earl when sweeping lawns and meandering paths were introduced. Shunned by Cheshire society, 7th Earl George Harry and his wife, former circus performer, Catharine Cox abandoned Dunham in 1856 and the garden was left unchanged for the rest of the 19th century.

Black and white archive image of Stamford Military Hospital patients and staff during the First World War

When the 9th Earl of Stamford and his family returned to Dunham Massey in 1906, the garden saw regular parties for charities and tenants complete with lemonade and ices. When Dunham was transformed into the Stamford Military Hospital during the First World War, wounded soldiers found solace in the calm surroundings of the garden. With its gardeners called up to serve during the Second World War and the lawn ploughed up to (unsuccessfully) grow potatoes; the garden was in far from prime condition when peace was declared.

Black and white archive image of Lady Stamford and her children Roger and Jane in the garden at Dunham Massey

When the National Trust took over Dunham Massey in 1976, work began to transform the garden to its former glory. It was decided that the garden would have an Edwardian pleasure ground feel with the freedom to choose from a range of planting options. The garden continues to evolve today- modern additions include the Rose Garden and the Winter Garden.

The mid 19th century bark house in the garden at Dunham Massey

Historic landmarks

A variety of landmarks guide visitors around the garden. The orangery provided the family with a space to grow exotic fruits. Enjoy sweeping views of the lawn from the 7th Earl’s bark house and discover the well house, family dog graves and the mount- thought to date back as far as 1173.