The Civic Society held their talk about Painswick Rococo Garden by Dominic Hamilton on Monday 25 April. Dominic Hamilton is the Chief Executive of the Trust and has since 2015 been working on the ongoing renovation of the gardens. The historic garden in Painswick was built as one of the earliest pleasure gardens in England- it is the only surviving example of its Rococo design. In 1748, Benjamin Hyett asked local artist, Thomas Robins to paint the garden. That very painting was used as inspiration in 1984, when Timothy Mowl and Roger White wrote an article about Painswick Rococo Garden for Garden History. It was this article that inspired Lord and Lady Dickinson, the then owners of Painswick House, to embark on the huge challenge of restoring the Garden to its former glory. Today, Painswick Rococo Garden is on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, and is restored and cared for by the Painswick Rococo Garden Trust, a registered charity that has worked tirelessly on the restoration since 1988.
By 1980, the Garden was a jungle, having been abandoned in the 1950s and planted with timber. Yet despite its unkempt and overgrown appearance, garden historians saw the potential of restoring the UK’s only surviving rococo garden. Painswick House is a grade I listed house and owned now, separately to the garden. The owners are working with the garden to restore the buildings sympathetically to their character.
Dominic felt that they are 75% through the restoration and still sees 20 years of work to fulfil the ideal end. The gardens now are trying to make it an attraction for a full year of variety to induce visitors to come throughout the year.
By Michael Timbrell
www.csoc.org.uk Visitors welcome £3.00pp Doors open at 7.00pm with refreshments available and the talk starts at 7.30pm. Next Meeting 19th September.
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