Covering 600 acres, the arboretum is an inspiring place to relax, get back to nature and indulge your senses. You will want to return to explore time and time again.
The arboretum was founded in 1829 by Robert Stayner Holford, whose family owned the large estate centred on Westonbirt House.
Using a family fortune, based on the supply of water to London, Holford financed and oversaw a huge planting programme, which hinged on the work of some of the Victorian age’s leading botanists.
He had the arboretum landscaped in the ‘picturesque’ style by the eminent garden creator William Gilpin.
In 1875, Robert’s son Sir George Holford took over the arboretum project and much of the collection as it exists today is due to his vigour in pursuing the project.
In 1956, the Arboretum was bequeathed to the Forestry Commission who have continued to improve and expand on the work of the Holford family.
Westonbirt has been granted Grade 1 on the English Heritage list of historic parks and gardens, in recognition of its importance.
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The National Arboretum