Seventeenth Century Gardens 

During the seventeenth century, influences from the continent dictated garden style, particularly after the Restoration when Charles II returned from exile in France, bringing with him the latest fashions of continental design.

French ideas are evident in the creation of avenues which projected into the landscape, proclaiming the status of the owner, and in the use of parterres which imposed symmetry on the garden. Parterres were either patterned with plants and coloured gravel or took the form of regular beds of grass, known as 'plats', and were designed to be viewed from above, either from the windows of the house or from raised walkways.

From Dutch gardens came canals which tamed flowing streams into regular shapes of reflective water, and the garden became populated with statues.

The Italian ornamental woodland punctuated with criss-crossing rides and paths was adopted in Britain and became known as the wilderness. Italian style is also evident in the creation of terracing with steps and balustrades, which was used to dramatic effect on sloping sites.

The garden at Broadhurst Manor, Horsted Keynes, is believed to be a rare survival from the seventeenth century. The enclosing walls, raised walkways and grass plats recorded there are indicative of this period.


Broadhurst Manor strip w650

         Broadhurst Manor Estate Map 1764            

(Courtesy © East Sussex Record Office)

Painting of Broadhurst Manor by Samuel Grimm

(circa 1795)