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Bloxworth House is a beautiful Grade I Jacobean manor house surrounded by a remarkable garden which is lovingly cared for by its current owners, Mark and Claire Gearing. We are very fortunate to have been invited to visit the garden which is rarely open to the public. Built in 1608, Bloxworth House is reputedly the earliest domestic use of brick in Dorset. It was acquired by Sir John Trenchard in 1689 and, following the marriage of his grand-daughter Henrietta to Jocelyn Pickard, it remained within the ownership of the Pickard family and their descendants until the mid 1960’s when the estate was sold and broken up. The gardens at Bloxworth were extensively remodelled in the late 1990’s by Martin Lane Fox, the landscape and garden designer.
We shall be visiting Bloxworth in the Spring. The entrance drive sweeps past mature trees and drifts of narcissi, fritillaries and other bulbs to a parking area near the house. The front overlooks a striking ornamental canal flanked by Mediterranean pines, with a Grade II walled garden in one corner, and to the side there is a parterre and courtyard garden by the stable block. A gravel garden lies immediately to the south, filled with sun loving plants, followed by a series of terraces lined with holm oak standards and pleached limes together with a rose garden. To the west, a grass slope filled with more narcissi and primroses leads up to the boundary woodland where a large and varied collection of magnolias, camellias, cornus, azaleas and other ericaceous shrubs flourish in a pocket of acidic soil, unusual for this part of Dorset. The gardens at Bloxworth also feature a number of splendid mature trees. A climb through the wood is rewarded by a wonderful view back over the house and gardens and out to the Dorset countryside beyond.
There is limited parking so numbers limited to 40 (please car share where possible). The gardens include some steps and steep paths.
Bloxworth is about 5 miles from Athelhampton House with a restaurant and gardens open to the public which would make a pleasant morning visit.