Recently my family and I visited Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire. Between the 1690s and the 1750s the modest early-Baroque garden was transformed into an ambitious English Barque park by its owner Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham. Temples, shrines, lakes and bridges were designed by notables including Charles Bridgeman, John Vanburgh, William Kent and James Gibbs. Capability Brown was head gardener for a time, and worked with Kent. The gardens contain artwork depicting politicians and other historical figures (the Shrine of British Worthies), and were visited by many nobles, including political leaders. Temple was a member of the Whig Kit-Cat Club.
Palladian Bridge, L.Gooner/Flickr.