This is a truly unique area in terms of historical landscape with a rich archaeological heritage and diversity of flora and fauna. Today, the Estate is involved in a variety of activities including farming, forestry, conservation, leisure and sporting pursuits
Rushmore is contained within the Cranborne Chase an ancient deer forest where King John came to hunt and within which the "Chase Rights" applied from the Saxon period until 1828.
 
 

Much of the present day character of the Estate was shaped by Lt General Pitt Rivers who inherited the Estate in 1880. He created a deer park and ornamental parkland where today the Rushmore Park Golf Course is located, and carried out a wide variety of landscape planting including what are now spectacular beech avenues and belts. He went on to create the Larmer Tree Pleasure Gardens for the entertainment and enlightenment of the local people. The gardens contain a unique collection of buildings including a temple and theatre, a dell water garden, Nepalese buildings and an interesting collection of trees and shrubs. The General was also a pioneering archaeologist and carried out many excavations in the area aided by his estate workforce. His collection of archaeological finds and artefacts were housed in the Pitt Rivers Museum near Farnham from which the present day public house takes its name.

Rushmore Estate woodlands contain one of the largest blocks of semi-natural broad-leaved woodland in southern England. For centuries these were the focus of the hazel underwood trades. The last ten years has seen a major restoration programme and the woods are now recognised as a wildlife site of national importance.

The preservation and restoration of the Estates heritage is largely due to the enthusiasm of the General's great-grandson Michael Pitt Rivers who was owner of Rushmore from the 1950's until 1999. During this time there has been steady renovation of estate farms and domestic dwellings and a programme of restoration to re-vitalise the landscape and re-create the species rich grassland formerly associated with the Park. The Larmer Tree Gardens were restored and re-opened to the public, the golf course was designed and built. I am endeavouring to continue his work.

I hope you will visit both the Larmer Tree Gardens and Rushmore Golf Club, perhaps even consider becoming a member of the golf club!

W J GRONOW DAVIS
 

visit The Larmer Tree Gardens , Rushmore Golf Club or Tollard Park Equestrian Centre