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Our lovely 35-acre formal gardens were created by the Hanbury Family between 1915 and 1922 within the existing framework of an eighteenth-century Capability Brown style parkland setting and the vestiges of a Victorian garden.

A tranquil, peaceful and intimate spot, the gardens are beautifully situated in undulating Dorset countryside, with a lake, broad sweeping and formal gardens including two national collections.

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The Red Garden

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The Temple Mound & The Temple of the Four Winds

This was originally built as the sighting mound for surveying during the construction of the Georgian House. Visitors who climb up to the Temple have a wonderful panoramic view of the gardens and the Dorset countryside, virtually untouched since Thomas Hardy’s time.
From this raised mound, the full beauty of the formal gardens, the structure and the ‘rooms’ or individual gardens can be seen. The view down from the croquet lawn is in line with the diamond-shaped clairvoyee cut in the yew coronet of the Crown Garden.

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The Penstemon Terrace

There are two half-hardy beds on either side of the steps to the Red Garden These are planted with a variety of tender perennials, scented geraniums and Euphorbias to provide a wide variety of flower and foliage in a typical Edwardian style.
A grassy path leads on to the Penstemon Terrace which is protected by dark green yew buttresses and planted with peonies that blend with billowing sprays of starry Asters providing vertical structure and a foil to the informal drifts of Penstemons.

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The Brick Garden

 

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The Herbaceous Border

Dark velvety green clipped yew hedges and pillars of yew topiary frame the entrance and lead the visitor from the Brick Garden down the steps into the Herbaceous Border terminated by a stone birdbath.
This is the traditional English double herbaceous border densely planted with a rich variety of herbaceous perennials and in true Victorian/Edwardian style was originally designed to be in full glory and a riot of colour in July and August when the owners were in the country.

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The Crown Garden

This is the heart of the Edwardian Garden created by Lady Dorothy Hanbury and was formerly the Hanburys’ Rose Garden before the roses were removed due to rose sickness. It was named the Crown Garden to represent the clipped coronet of yew planted in Edwardian times with an ornamental stone well sitting as a centrepiece.

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The Japanese Garden

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The Terrace Garden

The broad gravel walk has symmetrical rectangular beds on either side. These are planted with seasonal plants such as polyanthus, heuchera and doronicum in winter and subtle plantings of tender perennials in summer including verbena, diascia, Argyranthemum, alonsoa and nemesia.
It leads to an impressive, wide flight of Portland stone steps, giving a wonderful prospect over the Balustrade Terrace to the left and the beautifully manicured lawn, sweeping dramatically down to the lake, on the right with the ‘borrowed landscape’ of rolling Dorset countryside in the distance.

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National Plant Collections

Kingston Maurward holds collections of tender Salvia and Penstemon cultivars. These collections are registered as National Plant collections overseen by the Plant Heritage organization. Plant Heritage has as part of its mission to propagate and conserve cultivated plants. Both collections can be viewed in the collections borders in the formal gardens, at their best from July through to the autumn.

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Book An Educational Visit

We offer tailored visits to meet your curriculum or group needs, from self-guided to meeting the animal interactions, planting seeds and plants, talks and activities. All ages catered for – children and adults. Get in touch and start planning the possibilities for your next outdoor adventure.

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Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

It was a lovely place to visit. Free parking and entrance. Plenty for all ages to enjoy. We would have liked to know more about the history and present use of the house, park and garden. The cellar cafe sold the most scrumptious white chocolate cake ever! My first time tasting coffee in a bag, not too bad at all.😊 The children will love the small animal, inside and outside play areas.

Barbara (Grace)

4 weeks ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

A great place to explore and get outside. Expansive gardens, a small animal park, a lake, and the house itself. And FREE admission, you don’t even pay to park! Can’t say that about too many attractions these days. Means you can definitely enjoy a coffee and cake in the café 😉

Jonathan Carre

6 months ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

Always a wonderful day out, can’t believe it’s still free. Took my daughters of 9 and 12 and we spent over 5 hours here. We took a picnic and purchased ice creams too. So many places to explore and animals to see.

Lorna McQueen

6 months ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

This is free! The gardens are amazing to explore, cafe with a small play area and small playground outside too – fabulous stop over if you’re going West. Cafe doesn’t have a huge selection but the play area trumped this. Animal park has goats, ducks, donkeys etc, nothing too exciting but it was good for us to stretch our legs mid journey. Garden was incredible, so many hidden paths, steps and places to explore and picnic. Can’t believe it was free.

 

Nat Miller

8 months ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

Outstanding place to bring children, and for free! This is the sort of place English Heritage would charge you £20 to visit and £5 to park in. Free indoor children’s play area with lovely cafe. Loads of very happy animals to see and wonderful gardens to walk around. Shame about the older chavy students we saw brazenly throwing litter onto the field, disgusting.

Philip

10 months ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

Free entry to animal park with llamas, donkeys, goats, pigs, geese, etc. Lovely formal garden ‘rooms’ great to amble around or play hide and seek with kids. Sloping lawn from house to lake a lovely spot to laze on a sunny day. Great wildlife walk around the lake. Also has cafe, shop and indoor play area for younger kids. Outdoor climbing frame etc for under 10s.

Ian W

3 weeks ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

Excellent attraction and free of charge to enter. Would highly recommend. Easy to find and good parking available. Includes small estate shop and cafe on site. Milk vending machine located outside. Good selection of animals all of which look to be in good health.

Adrian J

a Year ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

Absolutely brilliant – free to get in, enough animals to entertain little ones, brilliant indoor and outdoor play areas, beautiful grounds, decent coffee in the cafe and dogs allowed pretty much everywhere! The perfect destination for my 2&4 year old girls and 8 year old greyhound

Alison Bates

8 months ago

Group 32 - Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park

Brilliant place for youngster’s, it’s free to enter and has all of the animals and some lovely walks around gardens and grounds. They often have trails for children to do. Plus there is the milk shake shed at the entrance.. And they have a Cafe and soft play. Frankly this place is a brilliantly kepy secret. It just great, we go there regularly.

Brendan Hampshire

2 months ago