Stobbery House

The designer of Stoberry garden, Frances Meeres Young who with her husband owns the house and garden has written a short history of the estate.

Stobbery House

Stoberry Park  and Garden- A Landscape Transformed

Stoberry House and Park occupies the site of a former Mediaeval field.

Stoberry is approached at the head of College Road. It was built by Peter Davis, one of the resident gentry. In 1718 he began to acquire parcels of land. On this, he built himself a new Mansion, Stoberry, set in landscaped grounds. The name was antiquarian in inspiration deriving from an earlier name of the open field which was Stabergh. It was built and lived in by 1745.

The House was demolished in 1957 and used to stand where our pond-garden lake-is now situated; the present Stoberry House was originally the coach house.

“A whole new chapter in the family’s life began, arriving in Wells from Botswana and transforming an English jungle into a fantastic garden – a piece of paradise from a wilderness, filled with black sheep and barbed wire, left to run wild the untamed garden was awaiting transformation”, wrote garden journalist Mervin Hancock.

On viewing Stoberry for the first time, my first reaction was to turn around and flee, but my husband fell in love with the view and the position, so persuaded me to reconsider and imagine a vision that
could be created on the large blank canvas. So, we started gardening at Stoberry in 1997.

To the East of the House is the Walled Garden. Part of this used to be a very rough area, used for sheep and full of thistles and nettles, now the open part of the Garden – with one area leading you through to a view of the next. There is a new rose garden, which is sheltered and enclosed in a peaceful corner, allowing you to sit and enjoy the fragrances and the scent of the Clerodendrum. The sunken garden is a much more contained area, luring you to explore and wander.

When I started to think about of the design for the Garden, the advice given to me by friends was to break it up into several ‘rooms’- which I know would have worked successfully – but I feel we are so lucky to have space, and with my African background, I wanted to enjoy this. Gardening is great fun. Everyone’s opinions differ about the way a garden should look. I have always felt it is a bit like cooking…. some people like spicy food, others bland, and who is to say which one is right! For me living as far as possible in balance with nature is important.

You can read the rest of what Frances has to say about the garden transformation in a small online booklet. The book also shows the original house, the current house and garden before and after it was renovated.

View Over the Lake

Information in the Gazebo next to the pond explains that the owners had an unexpected surprise whilst creating the pond area. Until 2002 that part of the garden consisted of rubble and rough ground following the demolition of the original house in the 1950s.

The Garden Pond seemed to be an ideal way of recapturing a semblance of wonder that this location has to offer, situated as it is with such a wonderful backdrop.

The pond was originally going to extend over the area where you will see a rectangular formal pond. During the excavation stage on the large pond, the digger driver uncovered the corner of the capping to the well: a domed roof structure, but that was all that existed between us and the bottom! This is the first we knew of the existence of the well, and it was quite a frightening moment when a open hole appeared in the ground and we discovered that the well is 60 ft deep, and with 15 ft depth of water, and people would have been walking over it for year.

Stoberry House

View from Stoberry House

6 Comments CherryPie on May 6th 2017

6 Responses to “Stoberry House and Garden – A brief History”

  1. Another interesting post with lovely photos. So enjoyed reading about the history. Thank you.

  2. The Yum List says:

    What a surprise to find the well!

  3. wiggia says:

    Always nice to see a private garden that reflects the owners taste rather than a NT lookalike.
    The site is what makes this special and the desire to make the most of it, in the booklet the owner talks about the ever changing way the garden progresses and that is how it should be, Beth Chatto who I knew in her early days at White Barn Farm was ruthless in rooting out failed plants and schemes and trying again, it is a how it should be, no garden should be set in aspic.

    • CherryPie says:

      I have gone off National Trust properties recently due to the corporate ‘clone’ policy(although there are one or two exceptions).

      I don’t even visit my local ‘Attingham Park’ where previously I would have just popped in for lunch and maybe take in a flower or two.

      Stobery garden is a delight, I know you would love it :-)

      On this visit we found an unexpected (special garden) which I will share photos of soon…