is an outstanding example of the English landscape garden style.
the 1740s Henry Hoare II inherited the estate and set about designing its landscape.
Hoare wanted to create a landscape reminiscent of the classic Italian and
French landscape painters of his day.
He was particularly influenced by
a painting by Claude Lorrain called Coast View of Delos with Aeneas and the Passage
The gardens were laid out between 1741 and 1780 and became
Hoare's obsession and a lifelong project.
The River Stour was dammed to
form a lake around which Hoare created a garden designed to titillate the senses.
garden provides a stunning series of changing vistas, and is punctuated by Classical
temples, grottoes and wooded areas with exotic trees.
The contemporary author
Hugh Walpole was moved to call the gardens, "one of the most picturesque
scenes in the world".
Others dubbed Hoare 'Henry the Magnificent' for
his ground breaking designs in conjunction with the architect Henry Flitcroft.
the mid 18th century, Hoare extended the garden to include a carriage ride around
the larger estate, taking in the Obelisk, King Alfreds Tower and the Convent.
tower is a red-brick folly built in 1772 by Henry Flitcroft, which provides excellent
views over the estate.
Today's visitors can recapture the sense of wonder
and beauty of Stourhead in its perfectly preserved landscape.
also see the the Hoare family mansion, built in 1720s, which includes a magnificent
Regency library, a picture collection and furniture by Chippendale.