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Hampton Court Represents Formal English Garden Design

On my visit to England I had to experience the gardens of Hampton Court.

The property abuts the River Thames.  I walked down to the water and could imagine centuries ago summer visitors arriving by boat.

Formality still in Hampton Court today.
Formality still in Hampton Court today.

Recently I read the book Furor Hortensis: Essays on the History of the English Garden, edited by Peter Willis. There I read these words: “Hampton Court is the best surviving large scale example in England of Le Notre’s style.”

Andre Le Notre (1613-1700) was the French landscape gardener, famous for the gardens of Versailles.  His approach often took a formal, symmetrical look to the garden

In Hampton Court we see a sixteenth century English version of Le Notre’s style.

In th next century, the seventeeenth, England would change its garden style and launch a movement called the picturesque, then the gardenesque, and later in the nineteenth century the Romantic.  Each of these styles began as an attempt to design in a different style from the formal, symmetrical look, while sometimes incorporating a bit of symmetry.

Hampton Court stands as an early version of the English landscape garden when the landscape design took a more formal look.


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