When Baron Ferdinand bought the estate in 1874, the central hill was bare farmland. Soon after, it was transformed into a beautiful garden and parkland - much of which remains today.
After buying the estate, Baron Ferdinand was quick to get to work on the land. The crown of the hill was levelled, drives and banks were cut, and mature trees and formal gardens were planted. The sculptures were added as the finishing touches.
The garden was designed to surprise and delight the Baron's guests at every turn. In his day, a garden tour would include the Aviary, the ornamental Dairy, the huge glasshouses, romantic Pulham grottoes and a menagerie of deer, goats and llamas.
Ferdinand's sister and heir, Miss Alice, was also a keen gardener and continued the tradition of innovation, adding three-dimensional carpet bedding.
In 1957, the property was bequeathed to the National Trust. However, after World War II, the Parterre on the south side of the house had been partly grassed over, the Aviary and Dairy were in disrepair and much of the garden had been reduced in size.
In 1990, Lord Rothschild initiated an extensive restoration programme to recreate the garden's original splendour, including work on the beautiful carpet bedding on the Parterre and in the Aviary Garden, and renovation of the Water Garden at the Dairy. The menagerie and glasshouses no longer exist, but other areas of interest have been added. The collection of garden sculpture has also been enriched, with the addition of works by contemporary artists.