Restoring Farnborough's Historic Parkland - phase 1

View over parkland to serpentine lake

Farnborough Hall is a registered historic parkland and a rare example of a 'ferme ornee'. We endowed Farnborough Hall in the 1960s and we're now embarking on a restoration and conservation programme with Natural England to transform the Parkland back to it's 18th-century style, opening up the views and vistas.

A brief history

Farnborough Hall is a rare and very special example of a ferme ornee (ornamental farm), created in the 18th century by William Holbech II.
The estate was passed to us in 1960 with the endowment of Geoffery Holbech. Early 18th-century design saw the transition from rigid symmetry and formality towards, a looser, more natural and informal style.
However, this was also the period where the owners of smaller properties were able to make their mark and be influential.

A partnership for the future

We've been gradually restoring the property since the 1960s and we're now a Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement with Natural England.
The aim is to deliver significant environmental benefits:
  • for wildlife
  • landscape
  • the historic environment
  • and resource protection
By embarking on a Parkland conservation and restoration programme, it's hoped that the Parkland views will be restored back to 18th-century design.

An 18th-century experience

Views and vistas are fundamental to the designed landscape at Farnborough, with shorted internal views framed capturing the pastoral idyll, ornamented with garden buildings, cascades and obelisks; circuit walks along shaded avenues (commonly known as The Terrace), beside water, lakes and cascades.
The Terrace Walk allowed wide, long distance views across the landscape and it's our ambition to provide this experience to our visitors and the local community.

Latest updates

07 Dec 15

Work completed on the Serpentine

The second part of the project was to work on the Serpentine; an artificial length of water which is viewed from the mansion to the north and the Oak Avenue to the south, giving you the illusion of a large flowing river. We removed the overgrown Alder trees which had started to encroach into the bank sides of the Pool and disrupt the bend, which had gradually started to disappear. The contractors have back-filled the areas and re-established the large bend in the pool.

View over lake to digger in background repairing the river bank, tree in left foreground

09 Nov 15

Completing the work on the pools

Throughout the year we have had contractors working on the pools around the Estate. This has been one of the largest projects we have been involved in. With an archaeologist on hand the contractors have stripped down and rebuilt the southern Sourlands Weir, stabilised the bank sides and refurbished the pathways. This has enabled people to walk side by side around the pool as they would have done in the 18th century.