Ickworth North Lawn & Italianate Garden stroll
A gentle stroll around the front and rear of the Rotunda taking in various trees, shrubs and the Victorian Stumpery with assortment of flowers as they come out over the seasons. The Italianate Garden is now known to be the earliest of its style by 40-50 years and was planted in the early 1800s
Rotunda terrace, grid reference TL815617
Walk across to the centre balustrade in front of the Rotunda, from here you can marvel at the view of the North Lawn and see the tall Cedar of Lebanon trees that dot this area. In spring the grass becomes covered with spring flowers. There are to be found a good selection of Orchids in this area. In autumn there can be found a variety of mushroom and mushroom circles.
Turn right heading to the Ickworth Hotel and follow the gravel path around into the North lawn. Continuing along this path cross over at the junction to your right is a large Luscombe Oak keep on and you will walk past an Evergreen Oak which is between two Wellingtonia either side of the gravel path and another across the road in front of you.
True Lucombe Oaks are clones of the original tree, but Lucombe Oak is also often used to refer to any hybrid between Turkey Oaks and Cork Oaks.
Turning left and left onto the small path leading to the Italianate garden gate in the wall. Admire this lovely Holm Oak as you pass along and through the gate.
You have entered the Italianate Garden which is walled in a semi-circle starting here and finishing just short of the hotel garden entrance. You can walk along the top of the wall which gives you a panoramic view of the park. (There are 2 sets of stairs and wheelchair users can access and exit the wall from the hotel end.) On your left is the Victorian border which has been replanted with Topiary Yews to reflect the original Cypress avenue.
Walk up the path past a Purple Beech onto the West Wing Terrace with seating area for the Café, looking to the other side of the croquet field there are a group of Magnolia Trees which have been planted so the flowering is staggered. At the corner of the Terrace to the Rotunda there is a Lawson Cypress planted in 1800.
Strolling along the side of the Rotunda until you reach the steps which come over the dry moat from the Library. From here you view the central avenue with Italian Box hedges shaped to reflect the Rotunda. (these round box hedges are the only Box now left in the garden, the rest having been replaced by Yew in 2019 following Box Blight).
Continuing around the Rotunda at the corner with the East wing you will see a Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) whose berries are similar to strawberries. Across the lawn through the Lollipop tree avenue (Eleagnus shrub) on the bend there is a Coast Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens).
Just past the gate to the Ickworth Hotel garden the path splits, take the right fork to Temple Garden. Standing in front of the temple you have a view of the Yew tree walk the stretches to the Urn in the western side, only to be split be the central path.
Facing the temple move to the right corner and enter the Stumpery. There are several intertwine paths going through here. Allow yourselves time to stroll through marvelling at the variety of stumps and planting arrangements. Don’t miss stones from the Giant’s Causeway. At the bottom of the steps turn left into the Western Stumpery. Mind that you do not disturb the dragon!
You will come out by the Urn with its view to the Temple. Cross over and continue through the trees alongside the croquet lawn which leads you to the gate in the wall where you came in. From here you can return to the car park or go into West Wing.
West Wing grid reference TL810610
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