THE VENUE

Spetchley Park Gardens

Rowland Berkeley was a wool merchant and banker, in 1605. Prior to this Spetchley had been owned by the Sheldon and Lyttleton families.
The son of Rowland Berkeley, Robert, was a High Court Judge in the reign of Charles 1 and a monarchist, who was lucky not to lose his head through his sympathies to Charles, however he did lose his house which was burnt down by Scottish Presbyterians on the eve of the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

He converted the stables where the family lived until John Tasker built the current, beautiful mansion house in 1811. Robert was also responsible for enlarging the estate which today amounts to 4,500 acres.

The parkland, containing red and fallow deer, was imparked in 1625 and the lake was formed in 1834 from the old moat which surrounded Rowland's original Tudor house.

Successive members of the family lovingly created the landscape and the Gardens, the latter most notably by Ellen Willmott, sister to Rose Berkeley, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1925 Spetchley became one of the first gardens in the country to open its gates to visitors under the National Garden Scheme.

In 2013 The Spetchley Estate embarked on the Spetchley Revival Project, which was designed to protect and rejuvenate the heritage of the garden. The initial stage involved the building of a new Car Park and Welcome Centre thanks to a grant from the RDPE. 

There has also been a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the garden lake, convert the cart sheds into a Heritage Learning and Interpretation Centre where visitors can learn about the history of the garden, family and landscape, and to conserve the 19th century Sovereign Coach. This was phase two of the project which was officially opened to visitors in June 2017.

The house, landscape and Gardens are now very much a legacy of one family's commitment to ensuring nature, beauty and longevity thrive at Spetchley.

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