This large Victorian Mansion on the edge of Hampstead Heath in Highgate, includes 7.4 acres of landscape. Over the years, numerous designers from Capability Brown to Humphry Rent, have tampered with the landscape but the neglected landscape RSL was asked to revive dates back to the 1870’s with 20th century additions by Leonard Guthrie and Gertrude Jekyll. The task was to adapt to the new and blend in with proposals for a new pavilion and the house’s new architectural additions, while retaining the landscape’s history.
RSL immediately set about restoring the landscape’s structure, dredging the pond, restoring rockery and reinstating the waterfall. Stone pathways and their walls were painstakingly rebuilt, overgrown trees and vegetation cleared and the historic folly brought back to life.
Once the historic structure has been reinstated, a pavilion was built, new terraces were landscaped, beds and herb garden planted, and generous herbaceous borders laid. RSL also planted acid grassland, wildflower meadow, orchards and native woodland, in line with planning conditions that demanded the site was ecologically enhanced.
Finally, RSL gave the entrance a sense of sweeping grandeur by recreating the driveway to sweep around a large circular reflection pond of black granite.