We have been offered an exclusive opportunity to visit Rousham House and gardens, which is about fifteen miles from Oxford. Rousham is one of the few houses that has been in the ownership of the same family since it was built, in 1635 by Sir Robert Dormer. We will be given a guided tour of the house, where we will see the wings and stable block added, furnished, and decorated by Kent, as well as some of the 17th century panelling. The house has a collection of 18th century Chinese porcelain as well as Leeds ware, Meissen, Wemyss ware and Coalport. There is a variety of porcelain in every room.
Following the tour of the house, we will be free to explore the garden, which is one of England’s most important gardens. Rousham represents the first phase of English Landscape design, and remains almost as its designer William Kent left it. You can still see many of the features that delighted its 18th century visitors. There are also three 17th century walled gardens. In the park surrounding the gardens, there is a herd of rare longhorn cattle. It has been said that ‘Kent is the great genius of eighteenth-century garden design and Rousham is his masterpiece, one of the greatest gardens in the world’.
Rousham is uncommercial, with no tea room or shop. Members are welcome to bring a picnic, which can be enjoyed in the gardens after the guided tour.
The guided tour of the house will start at 11:30am.