Situated in Halesowen on the southern edge of the West Midlands urban conurbation. It is a 57-hectare public park, Site of Special Scientific Interest, containing the remains of one of the most important and influential landscapes of the 18th century.
The garden at The Leasowes was designed by the poet William Shenstone beginning in 1743 and continuing until his death in 1763. Shenstone created his garden from farmland; forming a diverse landscape of wooded valleys, open grassland, lakes and streams. Today, The Leasowes is of major historic significance ranking in importance with landscapes such as Blenheim and Stowe, and being listed as Grade 1 on the English Heritage 'Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England'.
Visitors to The Leasowes would take the famous 'circuit walk'. This path led around the garden allowing every aspect of the design to be fully experienced and appreciated. Walkers would be led past seats and urns carefully positioned to enhance a scene, or to allow the opportunity to rest and admire the carefully created views.
Many of the features also bore poems placed by Shenstone to evoke a sense of mood; some of the seats and urns were also dedicated to Shenstone's close friends. Water was of great importance in the design of The Leasowes and whilst walking around the garden the visitor would be constantly aware of both the sound and sight of water as it flowed through the valleys and rushed over cascades to plunge down into pools.
Nowadays, the most treasured hidden gem is 'Virgils Grove' that were restored to their former glory with £1.3 million Heritage Lottery Funding. Visitors can make the most of their time around the 57 hectare site enjoying walking along the footpaths amongst the wildlife and wildflowers across the reserve.
If you like this, try these too...
Geosite The Red House Glass Cone is open from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm Saturday & Sunday. Admission is free. It has a gift shop, craft studios, coffee house and toilets on site. Free car parking is also available. The coffee house offers a hot and cold menu with drinks and seasonal foods.
Ruskin Glass Centre is formerly the site of and Webb Corbett and Royal Doulton Crystal is home to over 25 craft businesses, has an organic café and the Glass House Heritage Centre offers guided tours providing the history and heritage of the site. Ruskin Glass Centre is part of Ruskin Mill Land Trust who specialise in educating young people with learning disabilities through a craft and land based curriculum. Admission is free and the centre's opening hours are from 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Saturday.
Geosite Dudley Museum at the Archives is the Geopark headquarters and promotes the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark.