Cranborne Manor Gardens
Cranborne Manor Gardens
The manor at Cranborne is based on a former royal hunting lodge built by King John in 1207.  It is therefore one of the oldest surviving domestic buildings in England. The baronial courts of Cranborne Chase were held at the manor, and medieval dungeons now form part of the manor cellars.
Robert Cecil, later to become the first Earl of Salisbury rebuilt the house to create a fascinating mix of Italian and Flemish styles. King James was a frequent visitor, but that did not stop the 2nd Earl from supporting Parliament in the Civil War. The house was damaged when some 4000 Royalist troops were stationed in Cranborne, and was not totally restored until the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury rebuilt the manor in 1863.

The extensive gardens surrounding the manor house were laid out by 17th century gardening pioneer John Tradescant. They include a white garden and an enclosed garden, as well as orchards, a mount garden, and yew hedges. This is a very attractive garden, and the setting surrounding the historic manor house is unforgettable. A popular garden centre is attached to the manor gardens.

The house is not open to the public, but the gardens are open regularly, and are well worth a visit. Beside the garden is the historic parish church of St Mary & St Bartholomew.