The gardens

Springhead, with its ornamental and productive gardens, lies at the foot of north Dorset’s most spectacular downland. The downs, on the western edge of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, command stunning views over the Blackmore Vale and Hardy’s Wessex.

At the entrance to Springhead, a range of thatched cottages and an 18th century mill house form a courtyard. The small pool at its centre is fed by running water that cascades beneath the mill house to become a gentle stream, Collyer’s Brook, flowing into the River Stour.

The picturesque lakeside gardens to the east of this cluster of buildings focus on a small, Italianate rotunda of stone and wrought iron. At the head of the lake, where the chalk of the downs meets the greensand of the vale, icy, clear water bubbles up from seven mysterious springs that are crossed by a wooden bridge and overshadowed by huge and veteran trees.

The garden is opened to the public on various occasions throughout the year. Visits by private parties, garden clubs and individuals can be arranged by contacting the Trust office.

History of the gardens

The gardens have gradually evolved into their present structure since Springhead first became a private residence in the early twentieth century.

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There are many occasions throughout the year when the public can visit the gardens, from snowdrop days in February, to summer evenings when you can picnic before attending an open-air theatre event.

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Volunteering in the gardens

The garden is maintained by a band of dedicated volunteers who gather every Wednesday, and the Trust always looking for people to join the team.

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Productive gardens

Plans to restore and develop the kitchen gardens and orchards will allow us to grow more fresh produce and to use them as a learning resource.

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