The Gardens At Rousham by Francis Hamel
Rousham in Oxfordshire was one of the first landscape gardens created in England and is, still, one of the most influential. Designed by William Kent in the late 1730s for the Cottrell-Dormer family (who are its owners today) it has become a place of pilgrimage for landscape architects and garden designers worldwide as well as garden lovers. Its magical glades and sculptural set-pieces have long intrigued Francis Hamel, who has lived and worked there for 25 years. Since the beginning of 2020 he has composed an extraordinary collection of paintings that capture the gardens and their magic. With essays by Tom Stuart-Smith, Joanna Kavenna and Christopher Woodward, the reader is led down its mysterious pathways; from tree-shaded walks peopled with statues of Pan, Venus and other immortals to sun-dappled meadows carpeted with wild flowers. It is just as Kent left it- a secret garden that is open to all.