THE STORY OF ST OUR HEAD
Stourhead covers some 2650 acres of rolling Wiltshire hillsides. Originally owned by the Stourton family, the house and gardens we see today are the work of the Hoare family, who bought the estate in 1717. The house was remodelled as a Palladian mansion, while the gardens channelled the river Stour (which rises on the estate at Six Wells Bottom) into a series of artificial ponds and lakes which feed the vegetation and provide structure to the views. The Hoares owned and developed Stourhead until 1946, when Sir Henry Hoare gave the estate to the National Trust, as his only son and heir, Harry, had been killed in the First World War. A ‘coming of age tree’ planted for Harry now bears one of the ceramic poppies from the 2014 commemorative installation at the Tower of London.