The Gatehouse


This old Gatehouse stands at the entrance of a large private estate in Sonning, Berkshire, owned by our existing clients. It had previously been owned by an individual and become a separated from the wider estate. Our clients purchased the building in 2020 reuniting the Gatehouse with the main estate.

Whist the old building was to be retained, it was upgraded to enhance the external original features (stone window surrounds, bespoke leaded windows and doors etc).

Our clients fully refurbished the building internally in a similar way to create luxury living accommodation for family and guests.

  • To reintegrate the Gatehouse back into the main estate
  • To enhance the main entrance and access to the property
  • To create a private garden for the property which also felt part of the main estate
  • To introduce a new greenhouse and develop a working vegetable garden (not to be visible from the main house or Gatehouse)
  • To hide and old garage used for storage
  • To create audible and visual distractions from adjacent road noise
  • To include irrigation and lighting
The challenge

Located in a historic village and adjacent to an ancient churchyard, any development of the walled garden and lodge entrance had to consider wider planning implications and local vernacular. Any works to the entrance would be restricted to a short time window so as to not limit access.

Screening of the new vegetable garden and old garage store needed to be instant.


York stone cobbles and paving were introduced at the main entrance gates to compliment the village style and old brick and flint walls. The same stone paving formed new access paths, terracing and steps as well as aprons at the main access points to the property to create both visual a practical continuity.

At the main entrance we planted a mass of evergreen cloud box balls to contrast with grasses, long flowering verbena, Gaura and ground cover roses whilst mature half standard Bay trees in pots frame the ornate gate pillars.

Elements used

To achieve this look we used:

  • Traditional metal estate fencing
  • 2.25m mature Carpinus hedging for instant screening
  • Resin bound gravel for new parking bays and to link to the original driveway, all edged with Corten steel.
  • New access paths, terracing and steps as well as aprons at the main access points to the property to create both visual and practical continuity
  • Vegetable garden
  • Victorian greenhouse
  • Raised oak sleeper beds
  • Seating area to the rear of the property
  • Bespoke water feature
  • Yew hedging to border and unify as well as to contrast with the mainly cottage style planting
  • Mature Espalier fruit trees and Wisteria helped to soften the garden and house walls.

Planting at the main entrance included a mass of evergreen cloud Box balls, contrasted with grasses, long flowering Verbena, Gaura and ground cover Roses whilst mature half standard Bay trees in pots framed the ornate gate pillars.

Client’s comments

The garden, new entrance and wider scenes throughout the estate have such a huge daily impact on how we all feel. We often say that it’s like coming home through the “pearly gates” to such a heavenly scene beyond! The Creative Landscape Co. team have played a HUGE part in making us all feel that way. We all feel very lucky to be living here!