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Painshill Park

Took a trip to Painshill Park (situated in Cobham, Surrey) after discovering it in my ‘501 greats days out in the uk’ book. It was the perfect day for photography in this type of place as the sky was blue and there were nice fluffy clouds!

Painshill Park today comprises of 158 acres, reduced from it’s original 200 acres. The park was created and owned by Charles Hamilton (a british politician) in the 18th century. ‘Painshill was created as a romantic landscape to stimulate the senses and emotions of the visitor. Hamilton was in the vanguard of the picturesque movement.’ He ‘eventually ran out of money and sold the estate in 1773.’ After 1948 Painshill gradually fell into decay until around 1981 when restoration started.

The statue below stands in the Ampitheatre. The Ampitheatre comprises of ‘Six tiers of evergreen planting, mixing European and “exotic” trees and shrubs are arranged in a semi-formal rhythmic pattern which reminded Sir John Parnell of an amphitheatre in 1763.  The limited palette of plants gives the border a unity and attention is paid to the shape and growth habits of each tree or shrub in its position to keep the tiering.’ The statue is a copy of the ‘Sabine Group’ by Giambologna, which is made from marble and stands in Florence. The replica in Painshill Park however is made from lead.


Beyond these trees stands the vineyard. The vineyard produces white, rose and sparkling wine. This is also one of three entrances to the Ampitheatre.


This is the Gothic Temple. It was designed to offer a preview of the buildings around the park so that you could visit them at a more close-up and intimate level later.


The ‘Ruined Abbey’ was the last ‘ folly’ created by Charles Hamilton. It was designed this way to start off with. It is constructed out of brick but made to look like stone (on the other side, not pictured here).



The chinese bridge that leads to the Grotto.



The upper walls and ceiling of the Grotto are covered in gypsum, quartz, calcite and fluorite. The lower walls are made of clinker stone to give contrast. The tunnel and outer structure is made from brick which is covered by blocks of limestone. All of this gives the impression of a natural crystal grotto. The grotto is built across two islands in the lake and from the outside looks like a rocky outcrop.


The holes through the limestone are completely natural.



I am not really sure what kind of ‘duck’ this is. I haven’t really seen a duck perched in a really tall tree before, if anyone could let me know what it is id be happy to know!

Painshill is one of the most stunning parks I have been too. I think we covered most of it, though there is not enough light this time of year to spend the entire day wandering and exploring which is a shame. Though I couldn’t have asked for anything better from the light and sky that we did have on the day!

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