Mapperton Gardens is a romantic valley garden deep into a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside. The gardens descend from the croquet lawn, through the formal topiary down to the wild garden. The manor house with its church, stable block, coach house, dovecote and courtyard is a glorious harmony of golden sandstone and stands on level ground looking across terraced gardens, grass banks and wooded hill which descend steeply to the south. Pevsner’s Dorset guide says “there can hardly be a more enchanting manorial group than Mapperton.”
The house, Elizabethan in origin, enlarged in the late 1660s, is a marvellous example of a West Country manor house in harmony with its surroundings and the rolling landscape around it.
Now the home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton continues to be a family house and harks back to the restoration of Charles II when the first Earl of Sandwich brought the King back from Holland.
Mapperton has just been used as the primary film location for Far from the Madding Crowd, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy. The local area is also benefiting from a Broadchurch boom as the series was filmed down the road in Westbay. You can view a trailer for the film here
The café is now closed for the season apart from for private functions