NGS Open Day at Ranston – NGS 85th Anniversary Garden
The Ranston Estate, on the edge of the village of Shroton, has been in the ownership of the same family since 1781 when it was bought by Peter William Baker from the Ryves family. He landscaped the park, encompassing it within a circular beech walk on both sides. By damming the River Iwerne with an ornamental Palladian bridge, he created the two lakes around 1800. The lake, bridge and park was extensively restored in 2005, and won the Georgian Society Award for Garden/Park restoration. The last generation remodelled the house, reducing it in size to make it more manageable for the future. The original 1750 façade still overlooks the lake.
The gardens were opened for the first NGS day in 1927 by Sir Randolf Baker, grandfather of the present owner. In those days there would have been a large team of gardeners, and an extensive kitchen garden. The garden itself is now simpler, but the stunning parkland setting of Ranston House, sitting under Hambledon Hill, makes it a wonderful place to visit. The NGS Open Day is on Saturday 23rd June, 12 – 5.30pm. There will be specialist garden and plant stalls, terrier racing, a BBQ and refreshments. Take a walk up Hambledon Hill, and watch a Dorset League Cricket match, on the beautiful Shroton Fairfield, site of the once famous Shroton Fair, visited by Thomas Hardy in 1876.
Ranston opens for the NGS on Saturday 23rd June
Admission £3.50, children free