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Sandham Memorial Chapel Kennet & Avon Canal Newbury Hungerford
Visitors walk across the lawns to the Monks' Garden. Medlar and quince trees line the end wall along a lavender walk. In the other section is a white herbaceous border and passing through a gate you enter the Secret Garden with curving herbaceous beds and serpentine paths designed by James Russell. Thereafter you enter the Wood of Goodwill with curving paths through newly planted trees and in the summer walk back to the Castle through a beautiful wild flower meadow
The earliest record of a garden at Highclere dates to 1218 when the Bishop of Winchester, who owned the land, planted 61 fruit trees here. Robert Herbert laid out the early Georgian pleasure grounds with a series of vistas down open roads radiating out from the house. His collection of arches and temples is still visible from the main drive up to the house. however everything else was swept away in a design in the manner of 'Capability' Brown by the 1st Earl of Carnarvon in the late 18th century. He even moved a farm house and some tenants' cottages which interfered with his view. The 2nd Earl in about 1800 planted specimen cedar trees brought back from the Lebanon by Bishop Stephen Pococke, a plant collector who also visited Egypt and studied the tombs there. The 2nd Earl also introduced azaleas and rhododendrons from the Himalayas to replace the existing laurels. However he had first to import vast quantities of peat to neutralise the natural chalk soils of Highclere. The fernery and yew walk were completed about 1860 and, in the 1960's, a secret garden was created by the late Earl.