The gardeners that made Stowe

In its fastest period of growth, Stowe built up gradually over a period of nearly 30 years with the skills of world renowned gardeners and architects. Throughout the decades, lakes were created by hand, mature trees planted and countless temples and monuments were built. Take a closer look at their work.

A lake reflects the image of autumn coloured trees at Stowe

Charles Bridgeman

As Stowe's first garden designer, Charles Bridgeman kick started the transformation from formal gardens to famous landscaped splendor

A view across a lake with bright sky reflections of clouds in the water to golden style temples at Stowe

Sir John Vanbrugh

Sir John Vanbrugh's work at Stowe was fundamental in laying the groundwork for the monuments, landscapes and temples that were to come in the earliest phase of the garden design.

The view from the Temple of Friendship showing the Palladian Bridge with the Gothic Temple in the distance on top of a large grassy hill of Hawkwell Fields

James Gibbs

As an architect, James Gibbs created the most impressive buildings in the gardens.

17 busts sit in a semi-circular monument to various british worthies. Further along the shell bridge provides a crossing over the lake which reflects both buildings.

William Kent

Prior to 'Capability' Brown, Kent created some of the most atmospheric areas of the gardens.

The Temple of Concord and Victory stands tall. A huge golden Grecian style temple with large coloums, collonades and portico with craved murals and statues sit on the top.

'Capability' found at Stowe

Rising through the ranks, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown learnt his trade experimenting at Stowe, making his mark on the landscape before moving on to transform the the English countryside and many aristocratic estates.

It doesn't stop there...

These five famous men only make up a small period of the history of Stowe. Whilst they had a large and lasting effect, numerous other architects and gardeners have worked on the landscape over the centuries. Today our team of gardeners and volunteers make up the current chapter in the story of Stowe. 

Taking a moment to think about their work at Stowe for over 30 years, Barry Smith - Head of Gardens and Estates and Paul Stefanovic - Assistant Head Gardener

Overlooked and underestimated

Some world famous gardeners have shaped the landscape at Stowe's over the years, but there are many unsung heroes who've contributed to the place you see today.