National Trust Dyrham Park


Whilst many aspects of the house and collection allow us to connect with William’s world in a quite direct, physical way, his formal gardens require a greater stretch of the imagination. Later generations made subtle and slower changes to the buildings, but William’s gardens were swept away and re-landscaped entirely.

William’s garden’s presented something apparently so out of fashion, favour, and perhaps financial or practical efficiency, that they were left to neglect. Within a reasonably short period of time the formal water gardens overlooked by Neptune were deliberately and completely removed.

The garden is also both a great example of the work being done at Dyrham, and a means of encouraging repeat visits beyond season’s and over years. From a donkey meadow, the Dyrham team are on a journey of gradually rediscovering and remodelling the gardens, presenting the house in a different context - bringing us closer to William’s world.

For the ‘Year of the Garden’ we’re suggesting setting the scene for bringing the Kip vision to life, recreating a trellis arbor visible in the engraving as a walk-through form to support graphic orientation panels, and pendent flags. We have specified a structure which will last well beyond the time scale of this project, with the view that it might be repositioned to a point as indicated in the Kip at a later date.

This room features high level hanging bars, from which we propose dropping canvas banners. With minimal text, and image overlays acting as introduction and overview of the exhibition