Why is there parkland on the Quantocks?

About 200 years ago many landowners wanted to improve their land. So they turned it into landscape parkland, making beautiful views.

Sometimes they kept deer in the parkland.

They planted trees here and there to look attractive and to provide shade for animals.

  • Looking down over parkland above Cothelstone. When you see trees dotted around separately they must have been deliberately planted.

Some of these oak trees are now very big and old. They are called veterans. Sometimes, the landowners planted unusual trees, like scots pine.

  • View from Bagborough Hill looking down over the Vale of Taunton towards the Brendon Hills and Exmoor.

They also planted clumps of trees in the distance, to improve the view.

  • This group of trees is called the Seven Sisters. They had to put a bank and a fence round it to keep out the deer.  You can still see the bank.

Sometimes they added buildings and statues to show how cultured they were.

  • At TerhillPark they set up statues of Roman gods. This is Jupiter, the only one that still survives.

On Cothelstone Hill, they built Beacon Tower. It was supposed to look like a romantic old ruin.

  • This is an old, hand-tinted photo of Beacon Tower on Cothelstone Hill. Today, all you can see is a pile of stones. Structures like this are called follies, because they are not genuine old buildings.