Corsham Court, a Saxon Royal Manor and home of the Methuen Family, is based on an Elizabethan house dating from 1582. It was bought in the mid-18th century to display Sir Paul Methuen’s celebrated collection of 16th and 17th century Old Master paintings. The intricate plasterwork in the 72ft long Picture Gallery, designed by Capability Brown, is mirrored in the pattern of the carpet. This room, along with the other State Rooms, still retain their original damask wall hangings as well as furniture designed by Chippendale.
This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, a designer who changed the national landscape and created a style which has shaped people’s picture of the quintessential English countryside. Capability Brown was commissioned to work on Corsham Court in 1760, at the height of his career and re-modelled the house and grounds.
He created a ha-ha, a “Great Walk”, (a one mile long path) with trees planted along its length), planted numerous trees including Cedars and the Oriental Plane, which is now huge. Other features included the construction of a gothic bath house, which, though well-hidden, can still be found in the grounds, and an orangery in the gardens (since demolished).
There is plenty to see at Corsham Court. The large lawns fan out in front of you with fine specimens of ornamental trees surrounding the Elizabethan mansion. There is a beautiful lily pond with Indian bean trees and a young arboretum topped off with a breathtaking collection of magnolias to complete this wonderland paradise. Surrounding the Court are the stunning gardens and parkland, also designed by Capability Brown, and a 13-acre lake. Much of the neighbouring parkland is open for dog walkers all year round.