The West Wycombe State Grounds
The grounds at West Wycombe Park are among the finest and most unique 18th Century gardens surviving in England today. The park is a perfectly preserved rococo landscape garden, complete with statues, temples which are consistent in their use of Classical Architecture from both Greece and Italy. Main features of the grounds at West Wycombe are relics of the artificial Rocco style, offering an enticing mixture of water and solid ground which provide straight avenues, serpentine streams and winding paths in the woods.
The lake is entirely man made, created from the nearby River Wye in the form of a Swan. There are several springs within it that in turn fill it with its characteristic chalk filtered water, producing its gin clear appearance. The lake is host to an enormously diverse range of wild life including all manner of invertebrate and insects through to coots, swans and many ducks. The lake and the approachable parts of the river are well stocked with both brown and rainbow trout and may even be fished as part of a Corporate Day or outing through West Wycombe Corporate Entertainment.
At one stage in the park’s heyday an enormous galleon was brought over land from the Thames at Maidenhead and left floating on the water as an amusement for the guests of Dashwood’s guests, complete with a resident captain on board!
In the late Georgian period many new species of trees and flora from around the world were introduced which Horace Walpole described as, giving the ‘richness and colouring so peculiar to the modern landscape.’
The park still contains many follies and temples; the Temple of Music is on the island of the lake and was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Rome. Amongst the many other temples is the Temple of Apollo otherwise know as the Cockpit Arch because of its previous use as a venue for Cockfighting. More recently, the late Baronet introduced some structures that break the classic theme such as the Gothic style boathouse on the lake and a Gothic Chapel.
The park comes alive throughout the year thanks to its wonderful gardens; they are the perfect place to entertain guests. In particular the grassy bank that slopes down from the house to the lake creates a perfect natural amphitheatre for large public events such as the well attended Classic Fantastic music and firework concerts. The grounds provide a perfect romantic setting for any wedding, and can cater for very large corporate events as well.