Each generation of the Royal Family who has lived at Sandringham has added something of their own times and tastes, from the peace and tranquillity of the Woodland Walks to the drama of the carrstone rockeries, from the formality of the North Garden with its pleached lime avenues to the intimacy of the Stream Walk.
The original gardens of Sandringham House have been extensively altered since 1862. In the 1870s the original lake to the west of the House was drained, filled in and planted with elaborate formal parterres. Two new lakes were excavated, dotted with small islands and edged in places with carrstone; a romantic rockery and grotto were created and a picturesque valley formed to direct water from natural springs down a dell into the upper lake. In 1913, a charming summer house called The Nest was built for Queen Alexandra on the rockery overlooking the Lake and the Dell, all this splendour kept immaculate by a huge workforce.
Queen Alexandra’s death in 1925, her son King George V’s death in 1936 and the outbreak of the Second World War led to inevitable changes and rationalisations in the reign of King George VI. The labour-intensive parterres and borders, dug up during the War, were replaced by sweeping lawns. Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe was employed to create the North Garden, edged in box and bordered by pleached lime avenues. In the 1960s The Queen invited Sir Eric Savill, famous for his gardens at Windsor, to re-landscape the Woodland Walk and the Bog Gardens, and in 1996 the then Head Gardener created the beautiful Stream Walk. View the Garden Plan here.