The present day appearance of the grounds was largely formed in the first half of the 18th Century. Tilleman Bobart was commissioned in 1727 by the second Baron Guilford. He had trained under Henry Wise, the Royal gardener at Hampton Court Palace and at Blenheim Palace. Bobart removed the old orchard and constructed two terraces along the slope of the land on the east side of the house. The higher platform was a terrace walk and the lower terrace contained a central canal, 240 feet long, 40 feet wide and 3-4 feet deep. Bobart carried out works to the parlour garden on the north side of the house and he constructed a walled garden to the north east. It is likely that Bobart was also responsible for the stone built icehouse on the northern boundary of the grounds.

In 1729, the third Baron Guilford inherited Wroxton and removed Bobart’s formal garden less than a decade after it had been finished. The terraces were grassed over and the canal removed. In the 1740s, Sanderson Miller, a landscape designer from nearby Radway Grange designed Wroxton’s evolving gardens. Miller was a leading exponent of the Gothic revival in architecture in and was an advisor on landscape gardening to many estate owners in the Midlands. Miller was responsible for the Dovecote, the Chinese House, Chinese Lodge, Chinese Seat and Chinese Bridge. Of these, only the dovecote and the bridge now remain. Miller also built the Grand and Little Cascades. The Grand and Little Cascades fell into abeyance after the North family moved out; the Grand Cascade was little more than a trickle. Extensive work took place in 1983 to restore the Cascades to their former splendour. Miller also designed Drayton Arch. When it was first built, Drayton Arch was on the main road linking Banbury to Wroxton and visitors would pass it on their way to the Abbey.

Tilleman Bobart
Sanderson Miller
Susan North

As well as building the south wing in 1859, Susan and John North also made several improvements to the gardens. The Doric Temple and the rose gardens were added to the estate in the 19th Century, as was the knot garden, surrounded by its great yew hedge. Her Ladyship’s Lake was named after Lady Susan North. Although it’s likely that there was a pond here of some description since mediaeval times, Susan North established the water lilies which are still on the lake today.