Wardour Castle

Tisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6RR
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Overview

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown gave design advice at Wardour, near Tisbury, Wiltshire on two occasions, in the 1750s and 1770s, although his proposals of the 1770s appear not to have been carried out.

Old Wardour castle dates for the 14th century and a house was built immediately to the south of the ruin in 1686. This was surrounded by formal gardens with the Castle ruin as a picturesque centrepiece. By the 18th century, the land and castle had passed to the Lord Arundells, and the 8th Lord Arundell hired Brown, along with fellow landscape designer Richard Woods and the architect James Paine, to entirely transform his estate.

Richard Woods worked on the site between 1764 and 1772. A new house was built by James Paine in the 1770s. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown gave design advice on two occasions, in the 1750s and 1770s, although his proposals of the 1770s appear not to have been carried out. Set within the grounds of New Wardour Castle, Brown may have redesign the parkland, incorporating the old, romantic ruin of the 14th century castle as a folly.

There is sparse information on Brown’s involvement at Wardour, but he may have designed the lake that sits below the old castle. It is possible he designed the Gothic Banqueting House within the grounds of the Old Castle, which became Pleasure Grounds in the early 18th century. East of Old Wardour Castle is the site of a former diamond-shaped kitchen garden which had been removed by 1890. This garden, called the Old Garden on Richard Woods' plan of c 1764, is also marked on the 1753 survey of Wardour; it has been suggested it may have been designed by Brown as part of his landscape proposals of the 1750s.