Painshill, or “Pains Hill” as it appears in some 19th Century texts, was built by the Hon. Charles Hamilton between 1738 and 1773. The park, which is situated near Cobham in Surrey is one of the finest remaining examples of an 18th Century landscape park.
The Grade I listed park was awarded the Europa Nostra Medal in 1998, for the “Exemplary restoration from a state of extreme neglect, of a most important 18th century landscape park and its extraordinary buildings.”
The Hon. Charles Hamilton was an artist and creative who dedicated himself to landscaping the splendid garden. Born in Dublin in 1704, Hamilton was the 9th son of the 6th Earl of Abercorn.
Hamilton began acquiring land at Painshill in 1738, and over the years extended the grounds of Painshill Park to over 250 acres.
Hamilton divided the gardens into two parts: the ornamental pleasure grounds with the central lake and the more natural style second half. Many of the trees and shrubs planted by Hamilton were sent to him from Philadelphia by naturalist John Bartram. Visitors were permitted to tour the gardens during this time, if they tipped the head gardener! The gardens were visited by respected figures such as William Gilpin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau and Thomas Whately.
Find out more about the incredible history of Painshill Park here.