The Tapeley Park grounds are renowned for their beautiful gardens, particularly the Italian terraces, and include a lake, ponds, old woodland and a number of fields where Tapeley’s herd of Highland cattle graze. As well as a sizeable organic vegetable garden, Tapeley Park has one of the oldest permaculture gardens in the UK.
A QR code trail provides visitors with information about the house and features of the gardens. Through the season the gardeners host regular talks which are free for visitors and advertised on the Tapeley Facebook page.
Although the house at Tapeley Park has existed in various forms dating back to the time of the Domesday Book, it was the arrival of Lady Rosamund in the 1880s that led to the ‘neo-classicising’ of the property, which gave the main house its distinctive look.
The visionary spirit of Lady Rosamund has been continued by her great grandson, Hector Christie, who has been a champion of chemical free food production for many years and long before it became an established feature on grocery shop shelves.
Sustainability is a key theme on the Tapeley Park estate too. Over the years, Hector has given a home to ideas, people and projects that explore the sustainability theme and, alongside the permaculture garden, other projects that can be viewed at Tapeley Park include the straw bale house. The gardens are organic and the Tapeley Park estate is pesticide free.
Tapeley Park is a place where the present sits in harmony with the past, and the history room gives the visitor an informative and thorough summary of the estate’s evolution over the years. Meanwhile the grounds, with their Victorian-era lake (which underwent a major renovation in 2015) ‘old’ gardens and mature trees, project a sense of majesty that only time can bring. Head Gardener Chris Barham oversees all garden areas.