The earliest verifiable recorded history of Batsford Park which includes the arboretum dates back to the early part of the 17th Century. We know a substantial house existed on the site at that time which went on to be altered and extended over the next two hundred years. In common with most gardens of the time, the land was laid out in a formal style, gradually evolving into the more relaxed natural style you see today in the late 19th century.
Much of the landscaping you see today in the arboretum is thanks to Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford (Bertie) - later the 1st Lord Redesdale and grandfather to the infamous Mitford sisters who lived at Batsford Park during World War I.
The 20th Century saw the greatest development of the Arboretum at Batsford, first under the new owner Gilbert Alan Hamilton Wills – later the 1st Lord Dulverton and then by his son, the 2nd Lord Dulverton Frederic Anthony Hamilton Wills who was himself a great plantsman and who worked with Head Forester Ken Hope to restore the neglected gardens.
We've had to start work felling one of our old Giant Red Woods which sadly became rotten at the base. Arboretum open as usual.