Whatley Manor, originally named Twatley Manor, started life as a simple farmhouse. This farmhouse now stands as a Grade II listed building; no longer just a small house used for agricultural needs but instead a huge building used as a luxury hotel, with a Michelin-starred restaurant and spa retreats.
Twatley Farm was originally constructed in the 18th Century. The first records of this land can be traced back to 1840, where the Twatley Farm estate was included on the Malmesbury Tithe Map. In 1857, the farm estate was purchased by a Mr. T. G. Smith. From 1871, Smith took on the role of Lord of Easton Grey Manor. It is widely believed that Smith was responsible for much of the farm estates’ renovations.
In 1925 the estate was bought by Herbert Choplin Cox. This Canadian Deputy Master of the famous Beaufort Hunt added even more to the estate grounds. Throughout his time of ownership, Cox decided to expand and renovate the land greatly. The farmhouse itself was the subject to a great deal of work. Cox hired an architect named Septimus Warwick to improve the entirety of the house. A west wing, now known as the Tudor Wing, was added as was a courtyard area and a coach house.
WHATLEY MANOR GARDENS
Warwick also notably worked on the garden area of the house, something wholly neglected up until this point in time. As part of these renovations, ornamental gardens were laid out along the grounds, and a small park was added to the design.
The main courtyard connects a host of different garden areas and features. The courtyard itself features different forms of thyme and lavender and has a 200-year-old olive tree acting as the centre piece. Walk through the arch, past the yew pyramids and box hedges to reach the North Garden. This garden features a lush selection of white shrubs.
The Loggia Garden provides an area for those who wish to take a moment to rest. Juxtaposing the historic loggia is a modern water feature, pond and tall yew hedging which enclose the space and imbue serenity.
From here, the gardens descend in a series of terraces laid out in a garden-room style. Of note if the Hot Garden, home to various hot red and burnt orange flowers, including one of our personal favourites, crocosmia. And also the Herbaceous Garden. Designed to bloom beautifully throughout the year, the borders here hold in excess of five thousand plants and surround an axial pond complete with water lilies. At the top of this terrace resides a contemporary gazebo that allows guests to gaze along the length of the borders with the charming manor in the background. It is the perfect place to relax and while away the time. Perhaps with a tipple or two, or a pot of tea.
Barry’s Garden (named after the head gardener Barry Holman) is used to attract butterflies and bees to help maintain the natural balance of wildlife and plant life in the area. While the kitchen garden not only provides produce for the kitchen, but can also be booked as a private space to enjoy meals.
Befitting the luxurious nature of this hotel, the garden at Whatley Manor really is designed to help you slow down and enjoy life. Lusciously green, with gentle ripples of water and heavenly scents, this is a garden that feeds the soul - just as much as the Michelin-starred restaurant feeds the body!
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Images © Eliza Ford