Meet the makers of Stourhead

An image of John Michael Rysbrack modelling his terracotta statue of Herclues

Join us to explore the lives of those sculptors, architects and gardeners who helped to make Stourhead a living work of art.

The landscape paradise we know and love today was the brainchild of Henry Hoare II, who set about building a garden inspired by the works of art he’d collected while abroad on the Grand Tour of Europe. While his vision earned him the nickname Henry ‘the Magnificent’, Hoare employed the finest creative minds working in 18th century England to help turn his ideas into reality.

The following characters are just three of the makers you’ll meet.

Henry Flitcroft, Architect

In the Temple of Flora, learn about Henry Flitcroft, the architect who designed Stourhead’s most iconic temples and the dam that forms the man-made Great Lake.  Here we imagine the creative conversations the two Henrys must have enjoyed before the very first stone was laid for the Temple of Flora in 1744.

Francis Faugoin, Head Gardener

Wander into the Gothic Cottage and sift through old letters and accounts to discover more about Henry’s Head Gardener, Francis Faugoin. An elusive character, Faugoin headed a team of 50 gardeners to overseeing the planting of hundreds of trees around the lake. 

But he was also a bit of lynchpin, keeping meticulous accounts for Henry and acting as foreman to ensure that all the labouring workmen who built the temples got paid on time.

Gardeners hard at work
A painting of gardeners at work
Gardeners hard at work

Thomas Chippendale the younger, Cabinet Maker

In the Column Room of the house, we’re highlighting three signature Chippendale chairs that were made, like hundreds of others, bespoke to the house at Stourhead. Find out how the loyalty of customers like Sir Richard Colt Hoare saved this famous artisan business from going bankrupt.

Explore these and the stories of many other craftspeople as you wander the paths on your next visit. The ‘Meet the makers of Stourhead’ story will be on display from Saturday March 9 until Sunday 10 November 2019. Normal admission applies.