Stowe Landscape Garden
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The Palladian Bridge seems to be a magnet for visitors. The bridge crosses the tapering south west corner of the Octagon Lake. The term 'Palladian' refers to Andrea Palladio, a 16th century Italian architect who popularized a style of architecture reminiscent of ancient Rome and Greece. The Palladian Bridge follows that classical outline. It originally stood much higher out of the water than it appears today, but the lake level has risen considerably over the years.
Temple of British Worthies
This crescent shaped temple stands beside the River Styx in the Elysian Fields. It is composed of one long arcade, into which are set niches, each bearing the bust of a British notable. The 'worthies' are divided equally between people of action and those of intellect, so here we find such diverse worthies as William Shakespeare and Edward, the Black Prince, Queen Elizabeth I and philosopher John Locke. What is so intriguing about this temple is not the architecture, which is lovely, but rather, who was deemed worthy of inclusion or exclusion.
The Temple of Ancient Virtues
Clearly, Lord Cobham harked back to an earlier time, when the heros of the ancient world lived in a [highly idealized] world of knowledge and civic virtue. The statement would have been even more obvious if the counterpart to the Temple of Ancient Virtues, the Temple of Modern Virtues, had survived. Sadly it did not, but perhaps you can guess at Cobham's intent when you know that the Temple of Modern Virtue was designed as a ruin. Hmmm ...
There is a lot to see at Stowe. The gardens are immensely popular, so on sunny weekends it can be crowded. However, the area of the gardens is huge, so it never feels like you are overwhelmed with other visitors. The paths are generally very good, but there are some steep sections, and some areas that could be slippery when wet. See if you can time a trip to one of the open days for Stowe House, which offers a wonderful glimpse into the background and lives of the family that created these marvellous gardens that we can still enjoy. To get a better sense of what Stowe Landscape Gardens has to offer, click on the link below to visit our Photo Gallery, which offers a bit of a virtual tour around much of the gardens.
About Stowe Landscape Garden
Address: Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, MK18 5EQ
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: 3 m NW Buckingham, off A422
Website: Stowe Landscape Garden
Phone: 01280 817156
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
OS: SP665 366
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Stowe House - 0 miles (Historic House)
Water Stratford, St Giles Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church)
Buckingham Chantry Chapel - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
Old Gaol Museum - 2.5 miles (Museum)
Chetwode, St Mary & St Nicholas - 3.8 miles (Historic Church)
Hillesden, All Saints - 5.1 miles (Historic Church)
Thornton, St Michael's Church - 5.3 miles (Historic Church)
Furtho, St Bartholomew's Church - 7.8 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Stowe Landscape Garden: