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Chideock Manor Garden

Chideock Manor Garden is fascinating with diverse areas of interest: a Regency manor house, Romanesque cathedral, parterre, stream garden surrounded luscious dense planting, fern garden, Lime and Yew Walks, Wilderness Garden and rustic summer house.


GAP Photos/Ellen Rooney

Feature No:   4827 

Qty of Images:    68 


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Images available for use by license only.

The Chideock estate was purchased by the Weld family in 1802 and in 1810 Humphrey Weld built the manor house which stands today. Inspired by a grand tour of Europe in 1874 Humphrey's son Charles built the Romanesque style church next to the house which is now a focal point of the gardens as well as being used for regular Catholic church services. The Weld family eventually fell on hard times and were unable to keep the estate. Deirdre Coates and her husband Howard had fallen in love with the area and particularly the open views around the house so when it came on the market 1996, they bought it but they essentially started with a blank slate because the gardens had all been turned into lawn. Fortunately for them, they discovered an album of photographs made by an aristocratic Irish lady, Ermyngarde de la Poer who had visited and photographed the gardens up until 1913. From her photographs the Coates were able to get an idea what the gardens originally looked like. Deirdre loved gardening but didn't know much about the science of it and she didn't want to hire a garden designer, so she studied horticulture at the RHS for three years, so she was able to create the new gardens herself with the help of several gardeners. One frosty winter morning she looked out her bedroom window and saw geometric patterns etched in the ground below. From this vision came the idea for the design of the current parterre. The Coates added to the stream garden by extending it down to a pond at the end and surrounding it with a wide variety of plants. They created the Wilderness Garden which was just overgrown laurel when they bought the property. The design of paths through exotic plants is based on the Victorian idea of a naturalistic looking area of planting that people can stroll around and admire the surrounding plants. Although it is called a wilderness garden it is really anything but because the planting has been carefully planned.



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