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The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
Entrance to Painshill over the River Mole The Serpentine Lake and Gothic Temple The Waterwheel
Painshill is recognised as one of Europe's finest 18th century landscape gardens and one of the earliest Naturalistic gardens. The garden is now in the latter stages of a unique and faithful restoration by a charitable trust

It was originally created from barren heathland by the celebrated planstman and designer the Hon Charles Hamilton between the years 1738 and 1773. The garden can best be described as a landscape theatre staged around a huge serpentine lake, where people can wander from scene to scene with a surprise at every turn. A Gothic Temple, Waterwheel, Grotto, Ruined Abbey, Gothic tower and many more. All add interest to an already beautiful landscape and can be repeatedly viewed in different settings as your walk progresses.A view of the Lake from the Temple

Charles Hamilton ran short of money and to pay his debts sold the estate in 1773. The estate changed hands many times, eventually being split into lots and by 1981 they lay derelict and overgrown. Elmbridge Borough Council recognised the importance of Painshill and purchased 158 acres forming the Painshill Trust, commencing an ambitious and accurate restoration involving much painstaking research. This resulted in the current splendid re-creation of the original 18th century landscape.

I had not heard of the gardens until my visit in 2002 and was extremely impressed with the quality of the restoration and unusual qualities of the garden afforded by the addition of man made constructions or follies, which add interest to the landscape.

There are many similarities with Painswick Rococo Garden in the Cotswolds also featured on this site. But Painshill is much larger and more impressive and can be found close to Junction 10 of the M25 following the A3 towards London.
*Link to official site for viewing Visitor Information*
One of the few planted borders The Grotto The Gothic Tower