The house from the southwest, 1921
|OS grid reference|
|Architectural style(s)||Arts and Crafts style|
|Official name: Munstead Wood|
|Designated||9 March 1960|
|Official name: Munstead Wood|
|Designated||1 Jun 1984|
Munstead Wood is a Grade I listed house and garden in Munstead Heath, Busbridge on the boundary of the town of Godalming in Surrey, England, 1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of the town centre. The garden was created first, by garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, and became widely known through her books and prolific articles in magazines such as Country Life . The Arts and Crafts style house, in which Jekyll lived from 1897 to 1932, was designed by architect Edwin Lutyens to complement the garden.
Munstead Wood was the first in a series of influential collaborations between Lutyens and Jekyll in house and garden design. The number of these collaborations has been put at around 120;other well known ones include Deanery Garden in Berkshire and Hestercombe House in Somerset.
The entire original area of Jekyll's property is grade I listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Since Jekyll's time, it has been divided into six plots with different owners.
The main house, which retains the name of Munstead Wood and whose plot contains most of the original gardens, is a grade I listed building.The properties in the other plots, which are to the north and west of the main house, also include listed buildings designed by Lutyens, in the lesser two categories; these were mostly Jekyll's outbuildings.
Jekyll purchased Munstead Wood in 1882 15 acres (6.1 ha) in total, sloping upwards from its north-west corner, which was a sandy field, to 9 acres (3.6 ha) of former Scots pine woodland, on heath soil.or 1883, just across Munstead Heath Road from Munstead House, where she had been living with her mother since 1878. A part of Munstead Heath, Munstead Wood was a triangular area
Jekyll transformed Munstead Wood gradually over many years. 200 feet (61 m) long, which flowered from July until October. Each garden displayed carefully arranged shades of colour.She allowed the felled woodland to grow back, but thinned the young trees, creating areas of different varieties and different combinations of varieties, and gave each area its own underplantings of flowers and shrubs. The resulting woodland garden was viewed via a series of long woodland walks. Nearer the house the woods merged gradually into lawns. Seasonal gardens flowered in succession through the year: the "spring garden", the "hidden garden", the "June garden", and the main herbaceous border,
Jekyll turned the lower field into a kitchen garden.There was also a plant nursery from which she supplied plants to her clients. She also bred improved varieties of plants such as Munstead bunch primroses.
The garden of Munstead Wood became widely known as a result of Jekyll's descriptions and photographs, in her books such as Wood and Garden (1899), Home and Garden (1900),and Colour in the Flower Garden (1908), and in her many articles, particularly in Country Life and William Robinson's magazines The Garden and Gardening Illustrated. William Robinson was a frequent visitor. Jekyll's long relationship with Country Life began when proprietor Edward Hudson first visited Munstead Wood in 1899. Her garden was notably recorded in Country Life in subsequent years by photographer Charles Latham and Herbert Cowley.
The Gardens were written up and extensively photographed in 'English Gardens' by Henry Avray Tipping, (published by Country Life. 1925) at page 239 of that book.
The gardens attached to the main house have been privately restored.Public viewing of the gardens is possible by arrangement.
At Jekyll's first meeting with Lutyens in 1889 she invited him to Munstead Wood, and their collaboration began. They explored the local vernacular architecture, gathering ideas for the construction of Jekyll's house.His first building for her was The Hut, a cottage built in the grounds of Munstead Wood in 1895. Jekyll used this as a workshop, and lived in it until Lutyens completed the main house in 1897. While the house was still being built, Lutyens obtained another, larger commission in Surrey, Orchards, as a result of his future clients being impressed with Munstead Wood when they happened to walk past the construction site. Jekyll lived at Munstead Wood until her death in 1932.
The house was built in a U-shape around a courtyard open on its north side. The west wing contained Jekyll's workshops, and to the east lay a service wing. On the house's south, garden elevation, the tiled roof extends down to the top of the ground floor, broken by two large gables.On the right of this elevation, a narrow, south-projecting porch wing has an arch, the house's main entrance, on its east side, where this wing forms a continuation of the house's east facade.
The house was built of local Bargate stone, lined inside with brick. The casement windows were set flush with the outside walls to maximise the internal window sills.Oak timbers were extensively used. These were obtained from local oaks, silvered using a treatment with hot lime. Other features included a large hooded fireplace, and a shallow-stepped staircase leading up to a long oak-beamed gallery, overhanging the central courtyard.
The other buildings in the north and west of Munstead Wood have become separate properties. Besides The Hut, these were originally Jekyll's gazebo, potting shed, gardener's cottage and stables.The splitting up and sale as separate properties was performed in 1948 by Jekyll's nephew, Francis Jekyll, who had lived in the house after her death in 1932. He retained The Hut, however, and lived there until his own death in 1965.
A garden seat built by Lutyens for Jekyll at Munstead Wood, consisting of a large block of elm set on stone, was 'christened' the Cenotaph of Sigismunda by their friend Charles Liddell.He was a librarian at the British Museum, and a cousin of Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Alice's Adventures in Wonderland . He was probably referring to the tragic story of King Tancred's daughter Sigismunda, from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. Jekyll later wrote:
The name was so undoubtedly suitable to the monumental mass of Elm, and to its somewhat funereal environment of weeping Birch and spire-like Mullein, that it took hold at once, and the Cenotaph of Sigismunda it will always be as long as I am alive to sit on it.
Until encountering this name at Munstead Wood, Lutyens had not known the term "cenotaph", meaning empty tomb.
In 1919 the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, asked Lutyens to design a catafalque to serve as a temporary memorial structure in Whitehall, London. Recalling the term he had first heard at Munstead Wood, Lutyens proposed that a cenotaph would be more appropriate. His proposal was accepted, and used for both the 1919 structure and its permanent replacement in 1920, The Cenotaph,which thereafter became the principal war memorial of the United Kingdom. At Munstead Wood, only a copy of the original seat remains. Lutyens went on to design dozens of other war memorials, including Busbridge War Memorial outside the nearby village church, the commission for which appears to have arisen through his connections with the Jekyll family.
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memorials and public buildings. In his biography, the writer Christopher Hussey wrote, "In his lifetime (Lutyens) was widely held to be our greatest architect since Wren if not, as many maintained, his superior". The architectural historian Gavin Stamp described him as "surely the greatest British architect of the twentieth century".
Gertrude Jekyll was a British horticulturist, garden designer, craftswoman, photographer, writer and artist. She created over 400 gardens in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, and wrote over 1,000 articles for magazines such as Country Life and William Robinson's The Garden. Jekyll has been described as "a premier influence in garden design" by British and American gardening enthusiasts.
Lindisfarne Castle is a 16th-century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, much altered by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901. The island is accessible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway.
Barbara Freyberg, Baroness Freyberg, GBE, DStJ was a British peeress.
Hestercombe House is a historic country house in the parish of West Monkton in the Quantock Hills, near Taunton in Somerset, England. The house is a Grade II* listed building and the estate is Grade I listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.
Dame Agnes Jekyll, was a British artist, writer and philanthropist. The daughter of William Graham, Liberal MP for Glasgow (1865–1874) and patron of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, she was educated at home by governesses, and later attended King's College London.
Busbridge is a village and civil parish in the borough of Waverley in Surrey, England that adjoins the town of Godalming. It forms part of the Waverley ward of Bramley, Busbridge and Hascombe. It was until the Tudor period often recorded as Bushbridge and was a manor and hamlet of Godalming until gaining an ecclesiastical parish in 1865 complemented by a secular, civil parish in 1933. Gertrude Jekyll lived at Munstead Wood in the Munstead Heath locality of the village. Philip Carteret Webb and Chauncy Hare Townshend, the government lawyer/antiquarian and poet respectively owned its main estate, Busbridge House, the Busbridge Lakes element of which is a private landscape garden and woodland that hosts a wide range of waterfowl.
Amy Marguerite Brandon Thomas was an English film and stage actress. She was the daughter of the playwright Brandon Thomas. She is also known as Amy Brandon-Thomas.
The Cenotaph is a war memorial on Whitehall in London, England. Its origin is in a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War, and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's official national war memorial.
Busbridge Church or St John the Baptist Church, is an evangelical Anglican Church in Busbridge, Godalming, England. Busbridge Church is part of a joint benefice with Hambledon Church in the village of Hambledon, Surrey. Together Busbridge and Hambledon Church have six Sunday congregations ranging from traditional to modern and contemporary services. On a Sunday Busbridge Church and Hambledon Church put on youth and children's groups for over 200 young people.
Woodhouse Copse is an Arts and Crafts style house in the village of Holmbury St Mary, Surrey, England. It is a Grade II listed building, with gardens originally planted by garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Country house opera is performed by Woodhouse Opera at the annual Woodhouse Summer Opera Festival.
Orchards is an Arts and Crafts style house in Bramley in Surrey, England. It is on Bramley's boundary with Busbridge and 1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of Godalming town centre. Described by English Heritage as the first major work of architect Edwin Lutyens, it is a Grade I listed building. The gardens are Grade II* listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The property is privately owned.
Heathcote is a Neoclassical style villa in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England. Designed by architect Edwin Lutyens, it was his first comprehensive use of that style, making it the precursor of his later public buildings in Edwardian Baroque style and those of New Delhi. It was completed in 1908.
Tigbourne Court is an Arts and Crafts style country house in Wormley, Surrey, England, 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Witley. It was designed by architect Edwin Lutyens, using a mixture of 17th-century style vernacular architecture and classical elements, and has been called "probably his best" building, for its architectural geometry, wit and texture. It was completed in 1901. English Heritage have designated it a Grade I listed building.
Marshcourt, also spelled Marsh Court, is an Arts and Crafts style country house in Marsh Court, near Stockbridge, Hampshire, England. It is constructed from quarried chalk. Designed and built by architect Edwin Lutyens between 1901 and 1905, it is a Grade I listed building. The gardens, designed by Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, are Grade II* listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
Folly Farm is an Arts and Crafts style country house in Sulhamstead, West Berkshire, England. Built around a small farmhouse dating to c. 1650, the house was substantially extended in William and Mary style by architect Edwin Lutyens c. 1906, and further extended by him in vernacular style c. 1912. It is a Grade I listed building. The gardens, designed by Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, are Grade II* listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. They are among the best-known gardens of the Lutyens/Jekyll partnership.
Spalding War Memorial is a First World War memorial in the gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in eastern England. It was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. The proposal for a memorial to Spalding's war dead originated in January 1918 with Barbara McLaren, whose husband and the town's Member of Parliament, Francis McLaren, was killed in a flying accident during the war. She engaged Lutyens via a family connection and the architect produced a plan for a grand memorial cloister surrounding a circular pond, in the middle of which would be a cross. The memorial was to be built in the formal gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall, which was owned by the local district council. When McLaren approached the council with her proposal, it generated considerable debate within the community and several alternative schemes were suggested. After a public meeting and a vote in 1919, a reduced-scale version of McLaren's proposal emerged as the preferred option, in conjunction with a clock on the town's corn exchange building.
Busbridge War Memorial is a First World War memorial in the churchyard of St John's Church in village of Busbridge in Surrey, south-eastern England. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is a grade II* listed building.
The Jekyll Memorial, Busbridge, Surrey, England commemorates the gardener Gertrude Jekyll and members of her family. Designed by Jekyll's friend and collaborator, Edwin Lutyens and constructed in 1932, it is a Grade II listed structure.
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