History of The Temple at Stancombe

The Grade One listed Doric Temple and Folly Gardens of Stancombe in Gloucestershire have been described as being of similar calibre as Stourhead in Wiltshire and of Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire. The garden was the inspiration of the reverend David Purnell-Edwards who was married to a portly lady and, as legend has it, aided by her large dowry, he embarked on the idea of a idealized walk which would encapsulate all the important civilizations around the two acre lake; made up of The Chinese, Egyptian and Greek architectural styles.

He devised a series of tunnels to reach the garden which were to be too narrow for his broad wife to pass through; she must have been quite some size as the width of the tunnels are at least three foot! With a team of soldiers back from the Napoleonic Wars who had recently disbanded at Avonmouth, the reverend designed a walk which circled the lake to lead to a small temple which he created for his love trysts with a local beautiful gypsy.