Pleasure Ground

Upturned tree stumps interplanted with ferns

The Pleasure Ground was first planted by Robert Greening in the 1750s to connect the Hall to his Walled Garden, but it was substantially altered by William Emes when he rebuilt the Walled Garden in the 1790s.

Described in 1850 as having ‘picturesque, winding walks, leading a long way, admirably planted with groups and masses of the finest evergreens and deciduous trees.  There are also important views to and from the park and the grounds occupy a pivotal position as the link between the Hall and the park.

The Walled Garden shelter belts and ha-ha walls c1850 ran around a circular walk designed by Emes and the layout and path system remained unaltered between 1886 and 1959. The complete circuit of the slips was shown on map in 1981 some of which have be recreated to provide the circular walk around the outer Walled Garden today.  Once paddocks for the farm, some of the areas of the Pleasure Ground have been reclaimed by the garden and planted with specimen trees and Spring Bulbs. 

Large pine cones hanging from a tree in the Pleasure Ground
Large pine cones hanging from a tree in the Pleasure Ground
Large pine cones hanging from a tree in the Pleasure Ground

As you walk through the Pleasure Ground today you will walk past the Conifer Triangle with a selection of conifers and deciduous trees; a Holly area with evergreen Holm oaks and Spring Bulbs.

Discovering the laurel tunnel
Children walking into a laurel bush tunnel
Discovering the laurel tunnel

The Explorer woodchip pathway to the right of the garden entrance, with discoveries by plant hunters planted either side of the pathway and a hidden laurel tunnel for our smaller visitors.  The stumpery and bug hotels appear at the end of the pathway, old tree trunks from the estate upturned and interplanted with lush green ferns.

The majority of our National Collection of Walnuts (Juglans) are planted throughout the Pleasure Ground, many of the trees have labels on them, still identifyable as walnuts but some have interesting forms and leaf shapes vary.