The story of reinventing a garden

Urban Shade sketch

A lost gem

The walled garden at Stanmer Park was always special. Built 200 years ago, the large six acre plot was central to the estate, bridging house and park, and an important source of produce. But for years it lay abandoned – and never opened to the public.


The Pelham family bought the Stanmer estate in 1712 and set about creating the ultimate eighteenth century estate, with house, park, village, and working walled garden. The garden was a showpiece and an essential part of the infrastructure.

Canada sketch
Contemplation garden sketch

A garden for people

Eighteenth century garden designer Humphrey Repton was radical in his view that gardens should evoke emotions. The garden was created to be both productive, and a place to explore and enjoy. It is an idea central to its 2020 restoration: a garden made for people.

Modern times

In 1942 the Stanmer estate was requisitioned by the war department for military occupation and training in the run up to D-Day.  Since then, it has been owned by Brighton & Hove City Council. A new era for the garden will begin in 2020 when it will open to the public for the first time for visitors to enjoy.

One Garden Brighton will be a flexible indoor and outdoor venue focused on enriching all who visit.

Gathering under walnut tree