Hadspen house and garden
The entrance to Hadspen House
Location within Somerset
|Town or city||Pitcombe|
Hadspen House was purchased before 1747 by Vickris Dickinson, and then sold in 1767 to Charles Medows and subsequently to John Ford who in 1785 sold it to Henry Hobhouse. His son Arthur was born there and it remained in the family until it was sold in 2013, with the new owner rumoured to be Johnny Depp, but actually businessman Koos Bekker.
The original farmhouse was built by William Player between 1687 and 1689, but has undergone several major restorations. It is built of Cary stone ashlar, with a hipped Welsh slate roof behind parapets and stone chimney stacks. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building.
The clock house was an old barn converted into a modern five-bedroom dwelling in 2000.
William Player created formal gardens and courts around the house within a private park of 300 acres (1.2 km2) with two fountains, and planted avenues on three axes. The plantations behind the house were cut in the mid 18th century by vistas and ornamented with an artificial mount and a seat. The terraces and formal gardens were created in the 20th century around the house and on Pen Hill, including a large walled area later associated with a commercial nursery.
Within and around the 3,000 square metres (0.74 acres) old walled vegetable garden shaped in a parabola, a twentieth century Arts and Crafts garden was created by Penelope Hobhouse. It was opened to visitors in 1970. Hellebores and hostas were bred here. In 1987 it was leased to Nori and Sandra Pope, a Canadian couple, gardeners and authors, who had previously run a nursery and garden design service in Vancouver Island. During 2007 the garden was the subject of an open design competition, which was widely advertised in national print and broadcast media, but which also attracted some controversy about the appropriateness of the competition, including the bulldozing of the old garden. There was subsequently a lack of publicity surrounding selection of any succeeding design, and no design was ever implemented. Several allotments were permitted until the house went on sale in 2012.
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