Broadlands Estate, Hampshire

Broadlands House lies at the centre of a park created by Capability Brown when he and the architect Henry Holland refashioned the Elizabethan house in Palladian style. The River Test was realigned and water meadows reworked to create a fine setting for the west front of the mansion, while on the opposite side the common fields of the town of Romsey were landscaped in typical Brown style and the park was subsequently extended for Lord Palmerston the Victorian Prime Minister. In the following century, Broadlands was the home of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

acta prepared a parkland plan based on restoring the simple bold structure of Brown's and Palmerston's landscape by new planting, stripping away misguided twentieth-century planting and reinstating lost vistas. Proposals struck the right balance between conserving the historic landscape and maintaining and enhancing the River Test SSSI.


The River Test was realigned to dominate the foreground in views from Broadlands House


Contemporary maps show how the park was developed by breaking up formal avenues and acquiring land from the common fields


Brown's landscape extended beyond the park to include drives and viewpoints overlooking the Test Valley