Set in one of the world’s most famous landscape gardens, this folly at Stowe is a stunning Landmark with a spiral staircase, roof terrace and open grounds to explore. The gothic windows provide vistas of the monuments, lakes and temples in this eighteenth-century landscape.
See the changing light on this extraordinary landscape
This Temple, built in 1741, is one of the last additions to the garden at Stowe, formed for Lord Cobham by Charles Bridgeman and his successor, William Kent. That same year, Capability Brown arrived as gardener, to begin his own transformation of the landscape. It feels like an immense privilege to live within this extraordinary landscape, if just for a few days, witnessing the effect of the changing light on the monuments and enjoying the thrill of the scenes that Capability Brown created. Inside, the rooms are all circular with the main vault of the central space brightly painted with heraldry. The bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom are squeezed into the turrets while the sitting room occupies the main space, which soars to the gilded dome above.
One of over 40 temples and monuments
Lord Cobham dedicated his new temple, designed by James Gibbs, ‘to the Liberty of our Ancestors’, for which the Gothic style was deemed appropriate. Inside, the rooms are all circular, with moulded stone pilasters and plaster vaults – the main vault of the central space is gorgeously decorated with heraldry and mosaic. To be on the first floor gallery is an important architectural experience; and at the top of the staircase there is a belvedere with stone seats and a fine view over this former demesne of Lord Cobham and his successors, which the National Trust now looks after. Stowe School gave us a long lease of the Temple in 1970. It does have modern conveniences, if in rather surprising places! We hope that the splendour of the Temple and its surroundings will compensate those who stay here – it is one of the finest landscape gardens in the world.