Rousham’s landscape garden was designed by William Kent (1685-1748) and has been little changed since that time. The garden is representative of the first phase of English landscape design.
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Garden features include a walled garden with herbaceous borders and a small parterre. Further of interest are a pigeon house, espaliered apple trees, a Cold Bath and a seven arched Praeneste. Ponds and cascades are found in Venus’s Vale. Also in the gardens are Townsend’s Building, the Temple of the Mill, and a folly ruin known as the ‘Eyecatcher’.
The house, built in 1635 by Sir Robert Dormer, is still owned by the same family. Kent added the wings and the stable block. Plain glass in the south front is a replacement of original octagonal glazing in 1876. The interior of the house was also altered, but some 17th century panelling and original staircases were kept. Of note are furniture, pictures, and bronzes.
A herd of longhorn cattle live in the park.
Rousham House and Garden
Near Steeple Aston, Bicester
Oxfordshire, South-east Counties
Tel. 0 1869 347 110
Open: garden, daily year round, 10am-4.30pm; house, by appointment only, May-end Sep, Sun and BH, 2-4.30pm
Parking; no tea-room or shop
Web: Rousham House and Garden
Rousham House gardens courtesy Robin Stoot at Geograph Britain and Ireland