Painshill Park


Prologue

 

Painshill Park is an 18th century landscape, designed by the Honourable Charles Hamilton between 1738 and 1773. Inspired by a number of Grand Tours of the continent, Hamilton purchased an area of barren heathland and transformed it into a work of art.

A lake was created and a circular walk designed around the park incorporating views of garden follies that gave the visitor experiences of different moods. The beauty of the Chinese bridge contrasts with the spectacle of the grotto and the sombre air at the mausoleum. Other buildings include the gothic temple and tower, the waterwheel, the hermitage and the Turkish tent. Planting around the park enhanced the views of the structures and was ground breaking in that seed from newly discovered trees and shrubs had only just arrived from America.

After falling into decay in the 20th century, the Painshill Park Trust was set up with the prime objects of accurately restoring the landscape and its garden buildings and opening the park to the public. Almost all the buildings have now been rebuilt and the site also has a modern visitor centre, incorporating a café and gift shop. The 70ha site is open throughout the year so it is possible to enjoy the landscape in all types of weather and in all seasons.