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  • Historic Houses Association Friends Scheme

Garden

HISTORIC HOUSES ASSOC FRIENDS

Contact

Mr Edward Peake

Address

Moreton-In-Marsh,
Gloucestershire,
GL56 9AW

Details

The Thornery, as the water garden to the north of the house is called, is attributed to Thomas Daniell, but his paintings show that it was originally much more of an arboretum, a recreation of the romantic landscapes which surrounded the Indian buildings in his aquatints of 'Oriental Scenery'. Certainly it was Daniell who designed the Indian Bridge, but Sir Charles Cockerell's deep interest in the whole project can be seen from a letter he wrote to Thomas Daniell insisting that both bulls on the bridge be retained:

"I am dreadfully alarmed about the Brahmin Bulls - because I am certain they cannot be better placed - could Viswakarma, the Artist of the Gods of the Hindoos, take a peep at Sezincote, he would say let the bulls remain where they are."

The temple, at the top of the garden, was also designed by Daniell. It is a temple to Surya, the sun god who features, drawn by seven swift horses, in the Hindu Vedas - the oldest religious text in the world. Surya, although a relatively minor god, is prayed to in order to stimulate the intellect of the worshipper.

The Brahmin bulls - by the Temple, on the Bridge and in front of the Orangery steps, are Nandi - "the happy one", Shiva's favourite. They were originally made of Coade stone, but they too were disintegrating, so a model was taken of the best preserved and some of the present ones are cast in bronze.

No-one knows precisely the extent to which the planting and layout of the Park and Garden was also the work of Humphrey Repton, although it is known that he was consulted. Certainly, he never produced a 'Red Book' of Sezincote, as he did of most of his other great landscaping works, but there exists a sketch with overlay drawn by him which shows his ideas for the South Garden, and he mentioned his work at Sezincote in several of his writings.

For example in his 'Designs for the Pavilion at Brighton' he writes:
"It happened that a little before my first visit to Brighton, I had been consulted by the proprietor of Sesincot, in Glouestershire, where he wished to introduce the Gardening and Architecture which he had seen in India. Although I gave my opinion concerning the adoption of this new style, and even assisted in the selecting of some of the forms from Mr. T. Daniell's collection, yet the architectural department of Sesincot of course devolved to the Brother of the Proprietor, who has displayed as much correctness as could be expected in a first attempt of a new style, of which he could have no knowledge but from drawings, but who has sufficiently exemplified in various parts of his building that the detail of Hindu Architecture is a beautiful in reality as it appears in the drawing."

The general 'feel' of the Park and the sweep of the Lake, designed to appear like the reach of a continuing river are very much Repton's.

During the 1939 to 1945 war, the garden all became very overrun and the present planting is largely due to Lady Kleinwort, helped by Mr.Graham Thomas. On her return from a visit to India in 1965, Lady Kleinwort laid out the South Garden with canals and rows of Irish yews, copying the traditional "Paradise Garden" much used by Babur (the first Mogul Emperor). The canals or paths dividing the garden into four equal parts represent the four rivers of life and their crossing is a symbol of the meeting of humanity and God. The octagon shape (the fountain, Pavilion, etc.) evolved from the squaring of a circle, reconciling the material side of man with eternity. The Mogul pre-occupation with water is hardly surprising, as it is such a necessity of life in Persia, central Asia and India, and the canals were often planted alternately with cypresses, whose evergreen qualities represented immortality, and with fruit trees to remind of the renewal of life.

The Prince Regent visited Sezincote in 1812 while staying with the Marquess of Hertford at Ragley. He was evidently much impressed and Sezincote inspired him to press forward his plans for an Indian exterior for his Marine Pavilion in Brighton although Nash, not Cockerell, Repton or Daniell, was entrusted with the main task there.

It is thought that Sezincote is the only Mogul building surviving in Western Europe.

On-site light refreshments

Please see our website for up to date events and special openings. Suitablity for the Disabled: For full information for disabled visitors please email enquiries@sezincote.co.uk. Guided Tours: Obligatory. Suitability for Dogs: Guide dogs only. Civil Wedding License: Weddings.

Opening details

The Garden: Sezincote Garden is open Jan - Nov, Thurs, Fri & BH Mons 2pm-6pm.

Prices

House: Adult £10.00 (includes house and garden tour). Garden: Adult £5.00, Child £1.50 (under 5yrs free). Groups welcomed weekdays, please contact for details.

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    • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments

    Please see our website for up to date events and special openings. Suitablity for the Disabled: For full information for disabled visitors please email enquiries@sezincote.co.uk. Guided Tours: Obligatory. Suitability for Dogs: Guide dogs only. Civil Wedding License: Weddings.


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