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Goodnestone Park grounds: The perfect backdrop for corporate events and celebrations

Past and Present

A Changing Garden

The grounds have seen many changes since Brook Bridges purchased Goodnestone Park in 1704. Not long after this, the formal gardens were first laid out on the grounds around the house. Recorded in a view by William Harris, these consisted of parterres and avenues of trees.

Half a century later, open parkland running all the way to the house swept away the formal setting. During the 1830s, a raised boundary wall separating the garden from parkland reintroduced a measure of formality. This period also saw the introduction of terraced lawns, a sweeping driveway and a grand entrance on the west side of the house.

Goodnestone Park Gardens
Walled Garden Goodnestone Park

A Walled Garden

By 1763 a walled garden had been created, incorporating walls from an earlier enclosed orchard. Records from 1763 also described a Wilderness garden, later incorporated into a Lawns and Walks garden. Today’s Lime Avenue and associated arboretum are situated on the part of the land occupied by this garden.

Further improvements to the gardens between the wars included the creation of a woodland pool and associated rockery. Many notable trees growing today were planted at this time.

Head gardener Paul Bagshaw

After the war

Sadly, the gardens went through a period of neglect during the Second World War when the army requisitioned Goodnestone Park. In 1955 Brook and Margaret Fitzwalter inherited the estate. Lady Fitzwalter and her head gardener John Wellard undertook the massive task of restoring and developing the garden. They were both instrumental in creating the gardens that we recognise today, considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Kent.

Head gardener Paul Bagshaw now manages the gardens with a team of gardeners and volunteers. Visitors to Goodnestone Park enjoy the gardens for private functions, weddings, and wellness retreats. It is ideally situated not far from London, in the heart of the Kent countryside.

The gardens

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Visiting us

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