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Bulstrode Park

Dawn redwood in winter - photo by Paul HarveyBulstrode Park, just outside Gerrards Cross, contains many impressive trees in both the gardens around the house and the surrounding parkland. The name Bulstrode probably derives from old Anglo-Saxon words meaning 'the marsh belonging to the fort' (a reference to the nearby Iron Age hill fort).

In the 17th century the estate was home of the infamously harsh Judge Jeffeys, the Lord High Chancellor of England who was to die imprisoned in the Tower of London. His successor sold it to Hans William Bentinck, a Dutchman, who helped bring William of Orange to the English throne in the Revolution of 1688. Bentinck was given the title Earl of Portland for his services.

In the 18th century the estate grounds were landscaped; a lake was added that is reminisicent of Dutch canals, and trees were brought from around the world.

Rhododendron - photo by Paul Harvey

Bulstrode Park became famous for the variety and quality of its trees. While the Bentnick family owned Bulstrode Mrs Mary Delany was invited to live here. She invented a method of cutting paper mosaics of flowers and plants which appeared so close to nature that Sir Joseph Banks, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, said he could use her 'imitations of nature' for describing a plant botanically without fear of error. Some of her celebrated collages, still held at the British Museum, were made of flowers from the gardens and hot-house she found at Bulstrode.

Japanese cherry var. Shirofugen, a Buckinghamshire champion - photo by Paul Harvey

Notable trees in the gardens at Bulstrode Park include the biggest Japanese cherry (Prunus Shirofugen) tree in Buckinghamshire. Other notable species in the garden include a Roble beech, Snowbell (Styrax japonica) and Chinese rain tree (Koelreuteria). The garden used to boast the largest Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) in Buckinghamshire, but sadly the tree fell in January 2010.

The gardens are full of colour from bluebells in the spring through azaleas, camellias and rhododendron to the wonderful autumn colours of a fine collection of maples. Bulstrode Park is now home to an inter-denominational mission agency. Visitors to the garden are welcome - please enquire at reception.

There are some magnificent ancient oaks in the parkland surrounding the house. The parkland is now in different ownership and the magnificent old oaks can be seen from the public footpaths that cross the park. A favourite old giant has such gnarled roots that the tree seems to be standing on a pedestal.

Ancient oak in Bulstrode Park - photo by Russell Read

These trees are just a short walk from Bulstrode Camp, an Iron Age hill fort surrounded by ancient oak trees.



Bulstrode Park is in private ownership, but a couple of footpaths cross the Park from the outskirts of Gerrards Cross.  


Just to the west of Gerrards Cross

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