History of the Burgh House Gardens

The Burgh House gardens were originally more expansive than the space seen today. At the front of the House, there was a large lawn that extended beyond the terrace. There was also a garden at the back as well as one to the right, which extended all the way from where Wells House now stands to Christchurch Hill and Well Road.


In 1911, Dr George Williamson, the owner of Burgh House at the time, commissioned renowned garden designer Gertrude Jekyll to renovate the grounds. Though little remains of the garden today, her legacy lives on through her signature mill-wheel designs on the paving stones, the continuation of her some of her favourite plants and flowers and the terrace that bears her name.

When the Burgh House Trust took over the running of the House in 1979, they enlisted volunteers to clear up and replant the garden, which was overgrown and suffering from years of neglect. The garden is still cared for by a dedicated team of volunteers, led by Head Gardener Chris Coll, which works tirelessly all year round to ensure that it stays looking beautiful.

Auction particulars from The Times, 24th April 1822

'The house has a handsome approach, commanding extensive and delightful views of the hills of Kent and Surrey ... butlers' offices detached, housekeeper's room, with servants sleeping rooms, a double coach house and a four stall stable, large brewery and laundry, with plenty of excellent water and dry and capacious cellaring: a detached kitchen garden, enclosed with lofty walls covered with fruit trees in good bearing, with greenhouse, hothouse and cold bath; the whole replete with every convenience requisite for a highly respectable family.'

Sales particulars by Hamptons Estate Agents, 1924

'Charming formal garden with fruit trees and Yorkstone paved paths with ornamental column in centre, greenhouse, forcing frame, rustic summer house, etc. Soft water in tank area. Separate garden with entrance from New End Square.'

Sales particulars by Potters Surveyors and Valuers, late 1930s

'Queen Anne Residence to be sold with delightful well planned and laid out secluded gardens of over one acre, planted with Roses, Rhododendrons, Lilac, Azalea, Clematis, Japonica, Wisteria and a charming variety of choice flowering shrubs and mature trees. Sloping lawns, terraces, lily ponds, flagstone walls, Dutch garden.'