Raising a toast to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich’s family seat!
Mapperton House in Dorset has been voted the Historic Houses Garden of the Year Award 2020 in a record-breaking public vote.
Speaking at the Historic Houses national AGM and awards ceremony, Caroline, Lady Sandwich, thanked the public – almost 12,000 votes were cast for the eight shortlisted gardens, with Mapperton claiming almost a quarter.
The eight finalists are part of Historic Houses, a not-for-profit cooperative association representing the UK’s largest collection of independently owned heritage properties.
The award has been running since 1984 and is sponsored by the auction house Christie’s.
Free entry for members
All houses offer free entry to Historic Houses members. Despite coronavirus restrictions, all shortlisted gardens were able to offer socially distanced public access at some point over the summer.
The shortlist of eight gardens for the main award consisted of:
- Arley Hall, Cheshire
- Carolside, Berwickshire
- Hergest Croft, Herefordshire
- Hindringham Hall, Norfolk
- Mapperton House, Dorset
- Montalto Estate, County Down
- Painshill Park, Surrey
- Wollerton Old Hall, Shropshire
A second award was created this year to reflect smaller and less well-known gardens, won by Gresgarth Hall, home to Sir Mark and Lady Lennox Boyd (Arabella).
Smaller garden award winner
Arabella said: “I like winning awards – I like being good at something and for my team it’s wonderful – they’ll really feel connected to it.”
The garden employs five people, small on the scale of many of the association’s members, who together employ 33,000 full-time employees across the UK.
The award will help Gresgarth overcome the challenges of the pandemic.
Arabella added: “Attracting more people is important. We do need people here. We were one of the first gardens to reopen in June and we needed the income.”