Fanny Boscawen’s Walk and Tea House
With Admiral Boscawen away at sea during the construction of the mansion, Fanny was actively involved in the designs for the house and its surrounding parkland. She wrote regularly to her husband with updates and one much discussed outdoor area that she created can still be enjoyed today.
Fanny Boscawen’s walk is a delightful, shady path which meanders from the large dell, complete with Ice House, at the top of the garden, diverting across the parkland towards Great Wix Wood.
Work on her walk was well underway in May of 1755 when Edward wrote to Fanny: ‘I would have set out that way and rested them in the thatched house and other benches in your walk, or surprised them with tea in the thatched house.’ - Edward Boscawen, 1757
" I would have set out that way and rested them in the thatched house and other benches in your walk, or surprised them with tea in the thatched house."
The main section of Fanny’s walk was badly damaged in the Great Storm of 1987 and the walk lost many of its 150-200 year old beech trees. In 2016 the path was recreated on an almost identical route reconnecting the woodland and providing a cow-free connection for families to reach our children’s natural adventure area.
As part of our Women and Power programme, highlighting the story of Fanny and the Bluestocking Society, we’ve recreated the thatched house to which the Admiral refers in the above quote. This temporary structure on Fanny’s walk enables visitors to rest inside, take a breath and revel in the views just as she did 250 years ago.
The Tea House also forms part of a children’s trail about the bluestockings. Younger visitors are invited to sit inside, take tea, play at being members of the bluestocking society and maybe even join in a bluestocking debate. You’ll find topics up for discussion on the pressing issues of the day: Are boys better than girls? Should you have to tidy your own bedroom? If you find £20 do you get to keep it?
We hope you’ll enjoy the peace, tranquillity and beautiful surroundings that Fanny helped to create whilst you’re visiting Hatchlands, and maybe even have a chat about a subject you’d never thought of before.