Trees planted to commemorate Dyrham Park figures

Two lime trees have been planted in the grounds of Dyrham Park to mark the anniversaries of the deaths of two significant figures from the estate’s past.

The young trees are cuttings from those planted on the estate around 1700 and were ready to go in at the end of 2017. This marks 300 years since the death of William Blathwayt in 1717 and 100 years since the death of William’s great great great great grandson Henry Wynter Blathwayt in 1917.


Richard Wilson and Rick Crowley, volunteer rangers, planting the trees © National Trust /Mollie Harper

William was the man who created the house of Dyrham Park that remains today. He was born in 1649 and was as one of the most effective government administrators of the late seventeeth-century, favoured by a series of monarchs most notably the joint monarchs William and Mary. He acquired Dyrham Park estate after marrying heiress Mary Wynter in 1686 and they laid out ambitious new gardens and created the baroque mansion that stands today.

Major Henry William Wynter Blathwayt was born in 1877 and died in 1917 aged just 40. He was a career soldier whose two sons, Christopher and Justin, later became important in the inheritance of Dyrham Park and its eventual transfer to the National Trust. Henry was killed at the Battle of Cambrai in the First World War in 1917. His colonel described him as: “a most kindly, chivalrous gentlemen, who had no thought for self or for his own advancement, but desired only to pull his weight—his full weight, to help to win the war.” The Dyrham Collection contains his war medals, dog tags and letters about his death to his widow Elizabeth. They had two sons and a daughter who was only six months old when he died.

Dale Dennehy, Dyrham Park’s Garden and Park Manager, said: “This is a poignant reminder of the people who created and shaped the Dyrham Park we all know and love today. Without them we wouldn’t have this house, this garden and this parkland.

“William created the current Dyrham Park and must have been an incredible person to have achieved so much both in his work and in his home and garden. Henry was a brave soldier who fought selflessly for his country and died in battle very young leaving three small children. These trees will help us to keep these great historical figures in our minds and we hope they thrive, grow and live on for many years to come.”

The trees are at the head of the southern avenue in the east end of the park.

Dyrham Park is situated just off junction 18 of the M4 – 8 miles north of Bath and 12 miles east of Bristol. The park is open daily from 10am-5pm (last entry one hour before close).

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