Our story

Staunton Farm sits on the historic Staunton estate, which features beautifully landscaped parkland, our ornamental gardens, tropical glasshouses, tropical lily house and the farm itself.

Over the last 200 years several different families have left their mark on the landscape, and these different influences can be uncovered during your visit. In more recent years, the site has been managed by Hampshire County Council to make the farm as it is today.

When the Heritage Lottery Project began in 2017, the farm and country park were established as two separate sites in recognition of their varied customer offering. We now run as Staunton Farm - offering a fabulous farmyard day out for all the family, bringing together our intriguing history with modern day fun!


Our history

Until 1987, Staunton Farm was better known as Leigh Park Farm. The site has seen a fascinating and varied history to make it the site it is today.

We can trace the earliest links to the farm site as it is today back to 1802, when William Garrett purchased the land. At this point the site was simply agricultural landscape which he transformed into a garden. He laid out the Pleasure Grounds surrounding the house – creating a parkland, converting the eighteenth-century farm in to a ‘ferme ornee’ (ornamental farm) and building the first range of glasshouses in the walled garden. Garrett also built the bow wall (crinkle-crankle wall in the walled garden). Furthermore, he adapted the farmhouse into a more contemporary design – and it is this farmhouse which we now use as our visitor centre.

‘Gothick' library

Eighteen years later, in 1820, Garrett sold the site to Sir George Staunton, a politician and noted orientalist. Sir George made significant changes and additions to Garrett’s landscape, embellishing the site with the construction of the lake and several follies; including his popular ‘gothick library’. He worked for the East India Company for many years and travelled widely in Asia and Europe, finding inspiration during these journeys. You can see plenty of examples of the influence his travels had on the site as you explore the farmyard.

While some of the earliest buildings have since been demolished, you can still explore the walled gardens, stable blocks, estate cottages and home farm – all of which make up the site as it is now. Similarly, many of the plant species you’ll find in the walled gardens and even some of the breeds of animal onsite were first introduced during the 1800s.

The Staunton estate passed through many owners following Sir George Staunton’s death, all of whom added to the site and made their own mark. Today, our site is made up of a variety of different influences which all add to the Staunton Farm charm!


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