Restoring 18th Century Gardens and Parkland to Former Grandeur

By utilising White Horse Contractor’s substantial heritage and innovation, this listed historic country house estate was able to restore their vast gardens and parklands to their intended glory, updated for the 21st Century.

Key Achievements

  • Desilting and restoration of pools with traditional clay lining

  • Formation of water cascades with specially selected local stone

  • Land drainage systems to the Parkland

  • Pumped water recirculation system

  • Earthworks and lawn formation

  • Construction of bridges, access roads and pathways for maximum enjoyment

  • Restoration of historical landscape features to late 18th century picturesque scheme

  • High quality workmanship delivered through every stage

The Challenge

The gardens of this listed historic country house estate in Oxfordshire include landscape features dating back to the early 18th century, with the late 18th/early 19th century Picturesque scheme being the main form that still survives today.

With such historic features, the substantial gardens and parkland, spanning 126 acres required specialist design and restoration expertise.

Wishing to restore and improve upon the gardens and parkland within the estate, our private client wanted to ensure works would be carried out by a contractor who understood the specific requirements of an historic restoration.

The Solution

Our client entrusted highly regarded Landscape Designer Rupert Williams-Ellis to deliver a design that would restore the estate’s gardens to their former glory.

Recognising White Horse Contractor’s heritage and expertise in landscaping and water engineering works, our in-house team were selected to deliver all project works in close collaboration with Rupert, to deliver the client’s vision.

Our substantial heritage and reputation for high quality workmanship meant that we were able to deliver specialist works on site, utilising our vast skillset to blend both modern and traditional practice, to deliver a sympathetic restoration – that benefits from significant modern improvements.

With our in-house technical design expertise, we were able to work closely with Rupert as part of the project team, ensuring a smooth transition from design to delivery, quickly adapting to any obstacles presented during the process.

The comprehensive phase of work utilised our skilled in-house landscaping, land drainage and water engineering expertise, with bespoke works including:

  • Desilting and restoration of pools

  • Excavation and construction of traditional clay lining to pools

  • Water cascades formed with specially selected local stone

  • Installation of a pumped water recirculation system

  • Land drainage systems installed to the Parkland

  • Earthworks and lawn formation

  • Construction of bridges, access roads and pathways for maximum enjoyment of the parkland


A high standard of workmanship was required throughout the works, drawing upon White Horse Contractor’s six decades of experience and our continuous investment in plant, workforce and equipment, to deliver such a large-scale program of works entirely in-house.

Works to the lawns, pools and dams in sight of the beautiful country house formed Phase I of the project, successfully completed and handed over to our client in 2020. White Horse Contractors are delighted to be preparing for further works planned for 2021 and 2022.

Thanks to you and your team for helping us to achieve such a successful outcome to the first phrase of works here…looking forward to the next stage.”

Rupert Williams-Ellis, Landscape Project Designer and Co-ordinator

For more information call 01865 736272 or email