*Local Walks* Painshill Park sits close to the M25 in Cobham. In 1738 Mr Charles Hamilton, a London MP, purchased a small farmhouse in the Surrey countryside. It came with a good deal of land – 200 acres – which was just perfect for his plans.
Having been inspired by landscape paintings and his Grand Tours of Europe, Charles set about creating a beautiful landscaped garden. First he installed a waterwheel to divert water from the nearby River Mole, which ran through his newly-purchased land, and into a large artificial lake.Claim this banner space for your business
Painshill was his retreat, where he could feed his passion for architecture, so he then went on to build a range of follies and surprising vistas, evoking in visitors the impression of looking at real-life oil paintings.
There was a papier mache Turkish tent, a Roman mausoleum, a Gothic temple, ruins of a Gothic abbey, a tower, and more. The idea was to give an entertaining illusion for upper class members of Georgian society to enjoy.
Perhaps the crown in Charles’ endeavours was the large Crystal Grotto.
Painshill also had its own hermitage, with a hermit who was hired to live there for 7 years, but only lasted in the role for 3 weeks after being found drunk in a local pub!
There was a modest farmhouse on the land but Hamilton also owned properties in London and Bath. During his lifetime, he intended to create the park first and then replace the farmhouse with a fine country mansion – something he never lived to accomplish.
Please visit the Painshill website for the latest options for travelling there. There is a charge to enter. On site is a Cafe, plus free undercover picnic areas. Children welcome.
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