Petworth house and garden, West Sussex

topiary at Petworth House

At the edge of the beautiful town of Petworth, Sussex lies the 17th-century mansion of Petworth House. Set in beautiful grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, this 700-acre deer park has been immortalised in Turner‘s paintings which are on display inside the house itself, along with works of art by Van Dyck, Reynolds, Titian and Blake.


For the last 250 years, Petworth has been the family seat of the Wyndham family and although handed over to the National Trust in 1947, The South Wing of Petworth is still a family home today.

In the 1600’s, the grounds were very different, having formal gardens and fishponds. The 2nd Earl of Egremont commissioned Capability Brown to re-design and landscape the deer park. 64,000 tons of soil were moved, creating a serpentine lake, and poplars, birches and willows were planted on hills and ridges to compose the views.


The parkland surrounding Petworth has the largest herd of fallow deer in England. There is also a 12 acre woodland garden, known as the Pleasure Ground. At the time of our visit, the grounds were carpeted with daffodils and overhung with glorious flowering Magnolia trees. Later in the spring, visitors can expect to see primroses and azaleas. A Doric temple and an Ionic rotunda are built within the grounds as points of interest.


There are two cafes at Petworth, serving morning coffee, afternoon teas and lunches. However, having just enjoyed a generous and delicious Sunday roast at the charming White Hart pub in South Harting, a short drive away, we had no need for further refreshment!


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