The 18th century was a time of profound change in garden design in Britain, and by extension in Ireland. In the opening decades of the 1700s great and small estates included formal gardens laid out in the French and Dutch styles that emphasised symmetry and geometry, parterres and avenues of trees. The gardens at Bantry House are a good example of this garden style. Although developed in the first half of the 19th century, they were perhaps influenced heavily by the gardens at Versailles and great European houses visited by the Earl of Bantry on his Grand Tour.
Thanks to Dennis Horgan, aerial photographer extraordinaire, for allowing me to use his shot of Bantry House. Note the formal and geometric layout of the gardens and the parterres immediately behind and to the right of the house
However, for the previous century a different style of landscaping had dominated garden design…
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