architecture, belvedere, Folly, garden, Grotto, landscape, Rustic shelter, Summerhouse, Temple, Tower

Kyre Park, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

The grounds of Kyre Park were laid out in the second half of the 18th century for the Pytts family. A roughly horseshoe string of ponds was created, with ornamental cascades and bridges, and this landscape formed the backdrop to pageants and garden parties in the Edwardian era. In 1930 the estate was sold, and a series of institutional tenants then occupied the house. In the 1980s the depressing phrases ‘semi-ruinous’ and ‘partially collapsed’ were used to describe a Hermit’s Cave and a tunnel. But by the end of the century Kyre Park had found its saviours…

Jon Sellers and Martin Rickard bought the house and grounds in the 1990s, and began a programme of restoration to clear the undergrowth and revitalise the choked lakes. Architect Vernon Gibberd, working with stonemason Derek Bruce, was commissioned to restore an existing tunnel (entrance below the Green Man in the main image), and to add an extension leading to a lookout tower, above.

The Hermit’s Cave, a feature of the garden since at the least the middle of the 19th century, was restored and re-thatched, below.

The cupola temple with the house and church in the background. Origin unknown. A downside of the lovely non-institutional approach at Kyre is there is no means to find out more!

Kyre Park is a million miles from being a polished tourist attraction. Visit, and you will very likely have the place to yourself. There’s no website, little signage and no interpretation other then a simple map. Follow the path from the parking area and you will find an honesty box and a gate. Oh, and to add to the delights, there’s self-service coffee and biscuits for a small cost in a room by the church.

Sellers and Rickard have, The Folly Flâneuse understands, moved on. But the current owners must be congratulated for a delightfully low-key opening of this lovely landscape.

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2 thoughts on “Kyre Park, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire”

  1. Alan Terrill says:

    Glad to see it’s still as low key as ever. I could never understand how the gardens came to be so nicely kept and yet the house always appears to be empty. I saw the cupola a few years ago and there was a sign on it then – if I remember correctly it had been transported from a coastal town, (possibly Deal?) , where it had previously been the topmost part of the corner tower of a hotel. If visiting there is also a nice circular dovecote near the entrance which I think is in separate ownership.

    1. Editor says:

      Thanks for the update Alan. Yes the dovecote is lovely. Currently covered in scaffolding so hopefully getting some tlc. The former accommodation block (20th century) looks to be undergoing some restoration too.

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