Bramham is the product of one of the most fertile periods of English garden design: at the end of the 17th Century grand, extensive formality, epitomised by the French style of Versailles, held sway in catholic Europe, whilst protestant Europe preferred a more restrained, smaller scale, Dutch style (seen at Het Loo).  Both of these styles would have been familiar to the majority of well-bred English gentlemen, who completed their formal education with the Grand Tour of Europe.

With the accession of the Dutch William of Orange to the English throne in 1688, choice of one's style of garden design became an expression of political preference.  Queen Anne's reign from 1702-14 saw this develop further with formality of design becoming the mark of the ruling Tories, whilst more natural features, such as serpentine walks, indicated a more Whig leaning.

Bramham is one of very few original survivals from the period: most others were ‘improved' as fashion changed.  Benson's taste changed through the period in which he made his garden (the first 30 years of the 18th Century), starting formal and becoming more naturalistic over time.

Benson also left the ends of his allées and vistas unadorned, so that his estate appeared endless, as was usual at the time, whilst his daughter and son-in-law added numerous garden buildings, since the trend had changed to provide ‘eye-catchers' in the landscape, however, they saw no need to change the original design.

Several lengthy periods of neglect between 1773 and 1906 helped keep Bramham unaltered.

  • The House & Broadwalk

    The House & Broadwalk

  • Half-Moon Pond & Gothic Temple

    Half-Moon Pond & Gothic Temple

  • Winter Broadwalk

    Winter Broadwalk

  • Round House in snow

    Round House in snow

  • Lime Avenue to Round House

    Lime Avenue to Round House

  • Lead Lads Temple

    Lead Lads Temple

  • Obelisk Pond

    Obelisk Pond

  • Broadwalk View

    Broadwalk View

  • Winter from the Front Lawn

    Winter from the Front Lawn

  • Cascades


  • Evening Light in the Park Looking to North Drive

    Evening Light in the Park Looking to North Drive

  • Four Faces from the T-Pond

    Four Faces from the T-Pond

  • Sphinx on the Gates

    Sphinx on the Gates

  • The Round House

    The Round House

  • The Round House

    The Round House