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Claremont Landscape Gardens

©NTPL/John Miller

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Claremont Landscape Gardens are an early example of what became known as Landscape Gardens in the early 18th century. A visit to Claremont Gardens will undoubtedly be an education in garden design, but they also provide quiet estate walks, a lovely Tea Room and a children's play area in the lovely Surrey countryside near Esher.

Prior to 1715, gardens had been very rigidly structured and formal (think Elizabethan Knot Garden style) but garden designers such as Charles Bridgeman, William Kent and Lancelot Capability Brown broke the mould and began to create more natural looking pleasure gardens.

Claremont Landscape Gardens were designed as part of the building of Claremont House which was built for Sir John Vanbrugh and now
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houses a private school. The gardens were begun in 1715 and by the turn of the century they were the talk of Europe, being the "noblest of any". They continue to be a site of national importance.

Landscape Gardens were designed as pleasure grounds for wealthy estate owners to look out on or stroll in the recreated natural scenery, which had a series of carefully planned views.

Each view was staged to create a reaction - surprise, awe or even melancholy. The best way to appreciate this design style is to visit Claremont Landscape Garden for yourself and follow the trail.

The tiered grass amphitheatre was created for the annual Claremont Fete champere. This was an elaborate garden party Versailles-style, with fancy dress, orchestras playing and four days of theatre, fireworks and entertainment. The amphitheatre is situated near the round lake.

The Grotto was something no self-respecting 18th century Landscape Garden would be without. It was intended to create a mood of slight melancholy.

The Belvedere was the original entrance to Claremont, designed to create a wow factor, perched high with great views over the rest of the estate. The upper windows on the structure are actually painted on and although the building is visible from the gardens it now is a part of the Claremont Fan Court School.

The Camellia Terrace was originally housed in a large heated glasshouse to provide a spectacular show of early spring colour.

Claremont has many other lovely vistas, each with its own particular mood and background. Look for the thatched cottage, the lovely summer house on the lake and the elegant black swans and perhaps take away the idea for a new focal point on a smaller scale in your own landscape garden.

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Bus Services:
Travel London 515/A Kingston-Guildford (passing close Esher).

View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website.

By Road;
1 mile south of centre of Esher, on east side of A307 (no access from Esher bypass).

By Train:
Esher 2 miles; Hersham 2 miles; Claygate 2 miles.

Ordnance Survey Reference:

Claremont Landscape Gardens Postcode for SatNav: KT10 9JG


+44 (0)1372 467 806
+44 (0)1372 476 420

Portsmouth Road
KT10 9JG

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