Rodmarton Manor, near Cirencester
in Gloucestershire, was one of the last country houses to be built in the old traditional style when everything was done by hand with local stone, local timber and local craftsmen. It was done at a time when mass factory and machine production had become the norm. Ernest Barnsley and the Cotswold group of Craftsmen, who built and furnished the house for Claud and Margaret Biddulph, beginning in 1909, were responsible for the revival of many traditional crafts in the Cotswolds which were in danger of dying out.
Over the 20 years that it took to build the house many people were involved in building, woodwork, metalwork, needlework, painting, gardening, all done to a very high standard. Most of the furniture was made specially for the house, either in the Rodmarton workshops, or made by Sidney Barnsley, Edward Barnsley or Peter Waals. Some furniture was bought after the house was built but all pieces are directly or indirectly attributable to the original craftsmen or people who had connections with them such as Harry Davoll, Owen Scrubey, Oliver Morel.
The garden was designed by Ernest Barnsley and work commenced, under the direction of Margaret Biddulph and her head gardener William Scrubey as the house was being built. The garden was designed to comprise a series of outdoor rooms, or separate areas each with its own character. There are walls and there are hedges of holly, box, beech and yew. These form the "walls" of the rooms.
The original garden consisted of borders, lawns, topiary, two kitchen gardens, three tennis courts as well as the older trees that were on the site and new plantings principally of Lime, Hornbeam, Birch, Portuguese Laurel and Irish Yew. Anthony and Mary Biddulph moved to the Manor in 1955 and in the years that followed much new planting was done and the garden became very well known.
General Information:W.Cs in the groundsMuch of the garden suitable for wheelchairsNo dogs please
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