The Evolution of Parks and Gardens Over Time

With such a wealth of influences the Surrey Regional Route focuses on “The Evolution of Parks and Gardens Over Time.” This portrays the influences on the style and development of parks and gardens in Surrey. It is looking at where the inspiration for parks and gardens came from, how they developed, how they are connected with other places and people. This has close links with the cultural, economic, historic and social development of Surrey. It also has links to art and architecture. The Regional Route was developed to show such links and it does include selected other sites and aspects. The five gardens in Surrey’s Regional Route have been chosen to highlight the range of influences in park and garden development in Surrey.

        The Region Surrey

Surrey is your gateway to the south east of England, and London. The county covers some 1,500 square kilometres between London to the North and the protected countryside of the Surrey Hills to the south. Home to over a million residents, it's a place where traditional English villages meet modern centres for business and commerce.

        Parks and Gardens in Surrey

Surrey contains a wealth of historic parks and gardens. The earliest were the gardens attached to the religious houses such as Chertsey Abbey, of which nothing now remains, and medieval deer parks such as Priory Park in Reigate.

Henry VIII built Nonsuch Palace as a showplace and the equally famous gardens were further developed during the reign of his daughter Elizabeth. The palace was demolished in the 17th century and nothing now remains of the gardens.

John Evelyn, the diarist, introduced Italian garden influences to his family home at Wotton near Dorking, and advised on the laying out of the gardens at Albury Park near Guildford. Both gardens survive in private ownership.

Surrey abounds in 18th century landscaped gardens, including Busbridge, Clandon, Claremont, Oatlands and Painshill, some of which are open to the public.

The splendour of the gardens at Denbies and the Deepdene near Dorking were famous in Victorian times. By the turn of the century, the range of garden designs was enormous. They varied from plant collections to the formality of Tudor revival, as found at Great Fosters near Egham. The herbaceous borders and woodland gardens made famous by Gertrude Jekyll are internationally known.

In recent years, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe has designed the gardens at Sutton Place near Guildford. At Wisley the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society are a source of encouragement for today’s garden lovers.