Overview

There is an inscription on a stone staircase in Englefield Gardens which reads, “If you help towards Englefield Garden either in flowers or invention you shall be welcome thither”.

This inscription was taken from a letter written in 1601 by Sir Edward Norris, the then occupier of Englefield House, and shows that a garden was managed and cared for on the Estate over 400 years ago.

However, the origins of the gardens as they appear today were created in the late 1860’s with the building of the stone balustrades and staircases by Italian craftsmen.

In 1936 the woodland garden on the hill above the house was created by thinning the forest. At the same time the stream was constructed and the area planted by Wallace & Barr of Tunbridge Wells. Much of the original planting is still in place and this includes varieties of rhododendron, azalea, camellia, magnolia, hamamelis, parrotia, cornus, davidia and acer. The lower terrace was redesigned in 1974 by the redoubtable landscape architect Lanning Roper.

The grotto at the top of the stream is a more recent addition to the gardens and is lined with a mosaic of pine cones. Near the entrance gates is a children's garden with water jets hidden in four small statues as well as slides and swings - great fun for younger visitors.

A walled kitchen garden has recently been restored to produce many varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers (access to the walled kitchen garden is only for groups that book in advance). The gardens themselves are enclosed by our magnificent deer park and provide stunning views over our lake and surrounding countryside beyond.


Opening
Opening

2020

Our gardens are open to visitors every Monday throughout the year:

10.00am – 6.00pm April to October.

10.00am – 4.00pm November to March.

From March to October we are able to accommodate group tours Tuesday to Thursday for a minimum of 20 people.

Find Us
Find us

6 miles west of Reading, off of the A340. 1 mile from the village of Theale.

 

Train to Theale station where you can catch a taxi to the house (approx 5 minutes away).

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Taxi

Theale taxis 0118 930 2345

Admission
Admission

Historic Houses members visit for free, gardens only.

Adults: £5.00

Children: Free

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
  • Guide dogs welcome
Group Visits
Group Visits

From March to October we are able to accommodate group tours in the gardens Tuesday to Thursday for a minimum of 20 people. Tours are led by our Head Gardener.

Group tours must be booked in advance.

sarah.mosby@englefield.co.uk or 0118 930 2221

Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special events

Visit website

Weddings

From intimate dinners to spectacular garden marquee events, Englefield House is a unique and prestigious venue which will delight and enchant your guests.

Set in 14,000 acres of beautiful West Berkshire countryside, Englefield House has easy links to London, Reading, Newbury and other parts of the Thames Valley.

Our beautiful state rooms offer complete privacy and exclusivity, making Englefield House a perfect setting for events. Our versatile indoor and outdoor spaces lend themselves to special celebrations.

Facilities

  • Suppliers list
  • Guest parking
  • Accessible parking

Corporate Hire

Corporate events

From intimate dinners to spectacular garden marquee events, Englefield House is a unique and prestigious venue which will delight and enchant your guests.

Set in 14,000 acres of beautiful West Berkshire countryside, Englefield House has easy links to London, Reading, Newbury and other parts of the Thames Valley.

Our beautiful state rooms offer complete privacy and exclusivity, making Englefield House a perfect setting for private and corporate events alike. Our versatile indoor and outdoor spaces lend themselves to special celebrations, board meetings, seminars, product launches, client dinners, training events and team building days.

Facilities

  • Wifi
  • Projector and screen

Opening
Opening

2020

Our gardens are open to visitors every Monday throughout the year:

10.00am – 6.00pm April to October.

10.00am – 4.00pm November to March.

From March to October we are able to accommodate group tours Tuesday to Thursday for a minimum of 20 people.

Find Us
Find us

6 miles west of Reading, off of the A340. 1 mile from the village of Theale.

 

Train to Theale station where you can catch a taxi to the house (approx 5 minutes away).

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Taxi

Theale taxis 0118 930 2345

Admission
Admission

Historic Houses members visit for free, gardens only.

Adults: £5.00

Children: Free

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
  • Guide dogs welcome
Group Visits
Group Visits

From March to October we are able to accommodate group tours in the gardens Tuesday to Thursday for a minimum of 20 people. Tours are led by our Head Gardener.

Group tours must be booked in advance.

sarah.mosby@englefield.co.uk or 0118 930 2221

Other opening


Walks

See a variety of wonderful things when you walk through the gardens:

Early spring when the witch hazel, Camellias, Daphne bhoula ‘Jacquiline Postil’, snowdrops, aconites and daffodils begin to flower.

March onwards to view the spectacular Rhododendrons in our woodland and the candelabra primula lining the stream edge.

May when our woodlands are blanketed with bluebells and our rare and stunning Azaleas bloom.

From late September when the oaks, maples, Liquidambar and other deciduous trees provide a riot of autumn colour.



Englefield House's history and features

The story of Englefield goes back to 871AD when a battle was fought on the hill above the village, marking an important victory by King Alfred over the Danes. The battlefield was named by the Saxons as ‘Anglefield’ or ‘Field of Angles’ which became Englefield over time.

The Englefield family were sheriffs and knights of the shire throughout the Middle Ages and became prominent figures in the royal court in the 16th century. Their connection with the house continued until Sir Francis Englefield was implicated in the Throckmorton Plot of 1583 which aimed to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and install the Catholic Queen Mary to the throne. The house and lands were seized under an Act of Parliament and gifted to Sir Francis Walsingham (one of the Queen’s principal advisors) from whom the current family are directly descended. Towards the latter stages of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, it is reported that she was entertained at the house on two separate occasions and that during her visits bestowed a number of knighthoods.

The Benyon connection started in the mid-18th century when the then lady of the house Mary Tyssen married Richard Benyon of Gidea Hall in Essex. Richard had been orphaned as a boy and entered service with the East India Company at the age of twelve. He went on to become Governor of Fort St George (now Madras), making his fortune before returning to England. Some of the furniture that he brought home remains in the house to this day.

Careful stewardship of the land and buildings that formed the Englefield Estate has been a feature of subsequent generations. This included Richard Benyon de Beauvoir’s development of the de Beauvoir Estate in Hackney in the 1820s. He was also an innovative thinker and philanthropist building 11 schools and nine churches as well as many houses and modern farm buildings.

The House is currently lived in by Richard and Zoe Benyon and their family, and the Estate is a thriving community consisting of farms, woodlands and residential and commercial properties. While the family are modern in their approach to the day to day management of the Estate they are respectful of the history that comes with it and mindful of its responsibility.