Rousham, half way between Oxford and Banbury, possesses a landscape garden which should be a place of pilgrimage for students of the work of William Kent (1685-1748). It represents the first phase of English landscape design and has fortunately escaped alteration, one of the few gardens to do so. There are many features which delighted 18th century visitors still in situ, such as the ponds and cascades in Venus’ Vale, the Cold Bath, the seven arched Praeneste, Townesend’s Building, the Temple of the Mill and, on the skyline, the sham ruin known as the ‘Eyecatcher’.
Visitors should not miss the walled garden with its herbaceous borders and small parterre, the pigeon house and espalier apple trees. A fine herd of rare Long-Horn cattle can be seen in the park.