About the garden
A largely unaltered designed landscape created for Thomas Duncombe in the early 18th century, and attributed to either Stephen Switzer or Charles Bridgeman, the terraces at Duncombe Park sit atop a steep wooded escarpment overlooking the Rye Valley, which may explain why Pevsner refers to them as ‘one of the most extensive and boldest landscaping enterprises of England’.
At either end of the main east terrace, visitors will discover Ionic and Tuscan Temples, both recently and extensively restored, along with the vistas that have been re-established over surrounding parkland and down to the River Rye. The historically unmown banks along the shorter south terrace provide an impressive display of bluebell, primrose and early purple orchids in the spring, while snowdrops line the woodland paths that run through blocks of mature woodland either side of an extensive main lawn.
Later Victorian additions include ornamental parterres and a conservatory. The garden and surrounding 103ha (255 acre) parkland are designated a National Nature Reserve for the rare insects and fungi that thrive on the dying limbs of ancient trees. Visitors are welcome to explore the parkland by means of two signposted walks. While the house is no longer open to the public, the Duncombe family remains in residence. Admission for both garden and park are at the National Centre for Birds of Prey in Duncombe Park.
Please note: Dogs are not allowed in the formal garden.