Oxfordshire Trip


Blenheim Palace Gardens – Henry Wise, c1705
Rousham Gardens – William Kent / Charles Bridgeman, 1720

We start the day at Rousham, an excellent example of an Augustan landscape garden, designed by William Kent on a prior framework by Charles Bridgeman in the 1720s. The gardens are an early example of formal garden design mixed with a carefully designed natural landscape style. Kent is known for his “picturesque”, or English landscape garden. He envisioned the landscape as a classical painting, carefully arranged to maximize the artistic effects of light, shape, and colour. His gardens are dotted with classical temples and their philosophical associations. At Rousham, Roman elements abound, including statuary, urns, and a classical temple looking over the River Cherwell.


R0usham Gardens [image courtesy of Ed Webster]

Later on, we continue to Blenheim Palace, to the gardens. Sitting on more than 2,000 acres of extraordinary landscaped parkland and formal gardens, it can easily be called one of the most significant of English landscape gardens. There you can enjoy the exquisite views of great open spaces punctuated by mature trees, the intricate formal gardens like the water terraces to the Secret Garden, the Churchill Memorial Garden, the Italian Garden with many more features to be discovered.


Italian Garden in Blenheim Palace [image courtesy of Glen Bowman]