Munstead Wood - Godalming

01 June 2023

National Trust Acquisition

The Trust has bought the house and garden, both Grade 1 listed, built for Gertrude Jekyll, one of the most influential garden designers of the last century. She lived at the property until her death  in 1932.

She transformed gardens across the country, and abroad, introduced 30 new varieties of plants collected across Europe, and has been a inspiration to many amateur and professional gardeners through her writing.

The House is also a significant building, built in the Arts and Crafts style, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.  Lutyens collaborated with Jekyll on the landscaping and garden on many of his country house commissions.

Gertrude Jekyll, was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Victoria Medal of Honour, once described her garden at Munstead Wood as “my workshop, my private study and place of rest”.  Part of the original planting survives, while the formal paths, walls and pond designed by Sir Edwin remain intact.

Ms Jekyll’s rock garden was recently rediscovered buried under layers of garden debris.

She transformed horticultural practices and gardens across the country, introducing more than 30 new varieties of plants collected across Europe, and inspired others to take up gardening through her books and over 1,000 articles.

The Future

A spokesperson for the National Trust said it bought Munstead Wood in a private sale with support from the Government.

They also have stated that  “The Trust will now work with the community and partners to find the best ways to open it to visitors, but this will be dependent on raising funds to help restore and reimagine the garden and house,”.

The Society welcomes the Trust acquiring the property but hopes the Trust balances the need to conserve the property and it ambience, which has to an extent been preserved by its limited current opening, whilst securing its long term future. 

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