Fawley Court was (reputably) built in 1684 by Sir Christopher Wren. The grounds were formally designed in the 1720s and by 1731 every kind of tree known in Europe could be found there.
As its name suggests this Cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata) produces small fruits in autumn that appear similar to cucumbers. Unlike other Magnolia species, the cucumber tree does not produce spectacular flowers. The species is believed to have been around since the Jurassic period.
This North American species of tulip tree was introduced to Britain in 1688. The name Tulip Tree refers to the small, pale green tulip-shaped flowers which only appear on mature trees.
In the 1760s Capability Brown created the vistas from each aspect of the house that can be seen today. In 1770 James Wyatt worked on the interior of the house as well as designing the "temple" on Temple Island. The canal from the house to the river was cut in 1853.
The house and grounds were requisitioned by the Army during WWII. In 1953 the Congregation of Marian Fathers from Poland bought the house, which was a school for Polish boys until 1986 before becoming a retreat and Conference Centre. During this period very little money was available for the upkeep of the estate. The estate changed hands in 2009 and the grounds are now being restored.
A Special Trees and Woods Project volunteer recorded another Tulip Tree in Marlow.
Fawley Court is private. Some of the grounds can be seen from the public footpath along the river bank.
Fawley Court, Henley-on-Thames