UK garden launches appeal for information abouts its French founding father


13 May 2022
Heritage attraction Levens Hall and Gardens has issued an appeal for more information about its founder, Monsieur Guillaume Beaumont.

The heritage home and gardens, located in the Southern Lake District near Kendal, is hoping to discover more about the man who unwittingly became the inspiration for the global topiary celebration, when he laid the foundations of the world’s oldest topiary garden in 1694, on behalf of the then owner, Colonel Grahme.

It is thought that Beaumont was a pupil of Andre le Notre, the designer of the gardens at the Palace of Versailles and the subject of the movie A Little Chaos starring Alan Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts and Kate Winslet. 

Levens Hall and Gardens is aware that Beaumont was a gardener to King James II and had a hand in designing the gardens at Hampton Court, but has no details about his work before that, or of his birthplace or early life in France.  It hopes that a French garden historian or enthusiast may be able to cast light on this part of Beaumont’s story.

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The Cumbrian attraction knows that the Frenchman lived at Levens Hall and Gardens for many years, in a house overlooking the garden which is now home to head gardener, Chris Crowder.  Beyond that, however, there are few details.  Most of what is known relates to orders he placed for trees and plants, instructions he gave to the men who helped shape the garden, and his working methods.  

Anyone with any information about Monsieur Guillaume Beaumont, is asked to email.