The Historic Landscape

Along with the main house, the landscape and gardens of Drayton Hall have been admired through the centuries and show many examples of how human influences of the past have sculpted the features of the present.

The landscape of John Drayton (1715-1779) is an expression of an 18th-century gentleman’s country seat, conceived along with the construction of Drayton Hall, which is centrally embedded within an early-English, picturesque landscape. The sighting of the house in relation to the lush riverside garden and the great lawn, as illustrated above, is one example.

John was credited with utilizing many existing trees and native plants in his garden. The landscape was further embellished with exotic plants by John’s son, Charles Drayton (1743-1820), who kept detailed records of his everyday life for over 30 years.

The reuse of the once larger rice ponds as ornamental features, especially as viewed from the house, was an often-used effect on English estates. Retained native grand trees are another, as stated during a visit in the late 1790s by the Duc de la Rochefoucauld-Laincourt describing that, “In order to have a fine garden, you have nothing to do but to let the trees remain standing here and there, or in clumps, to plant bushes in front of them, and arrange the trees according to their height.” Furthermore he adds that John, “began to lay out the garden on this principle, and his son…has pursued the same plan.”