A rural idyll

APL Award 2024 winner.

  • Design and build project over £250,000 – best in category
  • Maintenance – gold award

We were delighted to be asked to design and carry out a complete rennovation to the grounds of a sprawling estate in rural Berkshire. Approached by a gated tree lined drive, this historic grade II listed 16th century Tudor manor house is set in the middle of well established formal gardens and surrounding parkland grounds that extend in total to around 9.23 acres.

The grounds consist of a tythe barn, two guest cottages with their own gardens, swimming pool area and tennis courts as well various outbuildings. The enchanting property was sold by Knight Frank in 2020 to our existing clients with whom we had established a good relationship with whilst working on their previous properties

The design brief

To develop an overview plan of whole site that would create more useable spaces in phases that better linked the indoor and outdoor areas whilst lowering maintenance requirements.

In terms of the overall feel of the garden, the client requested a contemporary Mediterranean design that is sensitive to the hertiage of the house and works in harmony with the Tudor features. This is a forever home to be enjoyed by the whole family. The family felt that whilst the property had been sympathetically restored and rennovated by the former owners, the garden had become scruffy and cluttered. However there were some established trees that were to be included in the new design and many plants were relocated and incorporated into the planting scheme. We also cleaned and reused many existing bricks and paving slabs as part of the build.

The challenge

From a design perspective we had to ensure we had communicated the benefits of planning for the longer term.

From a construction perspective we had to navigate working around a listed building, pool contractors, as well as updating old lighting and irrigation systems with limited access to certain areas.


  • Swimming pool
  • Lighting and irrigation
  • Paving
  • Walling
  • Lawns
  • Decking
  • Bridges
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Sculpture and water feature
  • Development of large pond and watercourse
  • Childrens play area
  • Planting