Eaton Hall Gardens
Encompassed in the gardens at Eaton Hall are several centuries of history. Eaton Park covers over 800 acres of which 88 acres are formal gardens.
Many great names in garden history have added their mark to the ever changing landscape and the tradition of commissioning new gardens and vistas is continued by the Duke and Duchess today.
In the last two decades the gardens at Eaton Hall have undergone a dramatic transformation, and now the present Hall sits comfortably alongside its historic surroundings of the chapel and the golden gates. In the early 1960s the Victorian Hall was demolished creating a vast open space and devastation of much of the surrounding gardens. A new hall was built in 1971–1973 and was altered in 1991 to create the present Hall. When the house was finished, the present Duke and Duchess were able to embark on the garden revival plans, guided by the vision of the renowned garden designer, Arabella Lennox-Boyd.
Explaining her plans, Arabella said, “My focus was to soften the gardens and to draw you from the house into the landscape. I wanted the gardens to be visually beautiful throughout the seasons, with interesting and appealing features, to reflect its setting as a family home. The four quadrants of the Rose Garden evoke the intimacy of four small rooms and create a sense of mystery within an otherwise large, exposed open space. The original layout of the Dragon Garden is ascribed to Nesfield, and during its recent restoration the original statues and lotus vases have been reinstated”.
The Duke’s Pond has been renamed ‘Lioness and Kudu Pond’ to celebrate the splendid statue created and installed there by Jonathan Kenworthy in 1998. The formal gardens now blend into the wider landscape, as mown grass paths have been reinstated to provide a more natural setting.
In the early 20th century there were 65 gardeners, but now, with increased mechanisation, there are 11 garden staff.
Eaton Hall has followed the fashions of gardening over the centuries, employing some of the finest and most confident landscape designers to carry out new designs. It has seen great productivity, new plant introductions, monumental building works as well as sensitive planting, all carried out by a team of dedicated gardeners.