Saturday, 23 December 2017

Wrest Park - Bedfordshire

The Wrest estate has a history going back more than 600 years. The extensive park and gardens that we see today, and which house Wrest Park were established during the 17th century. The current house itself was created during the period from 1834 to 1839, incorporating both English and French architecture.

It was the Duke of Kent that first created the gardens but it was his granddaughter who brought Capability Brown into the picture. Brown was sensitive to the work done by his predecessors and kept the changes to ones of subtlety.

The last 100 years saw many changes. not all of them pleasant or planned. First the house served as a home for the American Ambassador, then it became a military hospital during WWI. In 1916 a large fire destroyed much of the house. It was rebuilt to a degree and became the home for the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering. English Heritage took over in 2006 and an extensive rebuilding and development programme was begun. This has wrought many changes, but the full project is not expected to be completed until around 2026.

Wrest Park


MK45 4HR