Rousham House & Gardens
Attraction in Oxfordshire
Rousham is the purest example of an Augustan landscape garden, designed by William Kent on a framework made by Charles Bridgeman in the 1720s. One’s first Roman encounter is with statues recalling the Imperial games: a lion mauls a horse and a gladiator dies with restrained agony. A path leads into the woods and the Venus Vale, with statues of Pan, a faun, and Venus, from whom Caesar claimed descent. A sweetly serpentine rill flows in a stone channel from the Cold Bath into the Venus Vale. In another glade, a Temple overlooks the River Cherwell. The terrace overlooming the river is named the Praeneste after the ancient temple complex in the modern town of Palestrina outside Rome.