The story begins with Speaker Chute who, in 1635 built two summerhouses in the grounds to the east of the house. The summerhouses would have likely been the focus of a 17-century garden design and were two of the first British garden buildings.
The red brick buildings took the shape of a Greek cross with four doors and a central chamber. Only one of the summerhouses remains, its twin being removed by 1776.
Today, the remaining summerhouse forms the focus of a formal garden with beds which reflect the shape of the summerhouse itself. The bedding plants are chosen to compliment the shades of the summerhouse during the seasons and the garden is enclosed by a yew hedge.
Although the current garden is a recent installation, there is evidence from a Muntz paining in the house that the summerhouse garden was at one stage, enclosed.
In 1755 John Chute dismantled much of the formal gardens that were reminiscent of the Tudor period and introduced naturalistic layout of lawns to the north and west of the house; Known as the “Pleasure Garden” it was planted informally with trees and several orchards and the 3ha tranquil lake, much of which still exsists.
John Chute also built the Grade 2 listed Walled Garden. It is a rhomboidal garden originally built in 18th century. The northern wall has notable curved corners which are yet to be investigated and a service gateway.
There used to be a range of glasshouses, likely to been built in the 1840’s and a range of timber glasshouses on the north wall which were gone by 1951. The glasshouse on west wall had been demolished by 1967 but rebuilt in 2008 in its original location.