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Plan of Sayes Court House and Garden

Plan of Sayes Court House and Garden

Artist: Evelyn, John

Medium: Ink on paper

Date: 1653

Shelfmark: Add.MS 78628 A

Item number: 1

Length: 569

Width: 657

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

This plan of the house and garden at Sayes Court shows in detail the renovations to the house and outbuildings and the new garden layout of the parterre, grove and orchard designed and carried out by John Evelyn. The property had long been held by Evelyn's wife's family as a crown lease, and he lived there from 1652 until he moved to his own ancestral home at Wotton in Surrey in 1694. The line dividing the key from the plan actually represents the dock wall. Sandwiched between the docks and the yards where cattle were slaughtered, this was not an ideal location for a tranquil garden. But at Sayes Court Evelyn, inspired by French and Italian ideas, created one of the most influential gardens of his day.

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