The Temple Mound & The Temple of The Four Winds
This was originally built as the sighting mound for surveying during the construction of the Georgian House.
Visitors who climb up to the Temple have a wonderful panoramic view of the gardens and the Dorset countryside, virtually untouched since Thomas Hardy’s time. From this raised mound the full beauty of the formal gardens, the structure and the ‘rooms’ or individual gardens can be seen .
The view down from the croquet lawn is in line with the diamond shaped clair-voyee cut in the yew coronet of the Crown Garden.
The temple was constructed from original drawings by Weymouth College masonry students from Portland Stone (1991-5) as a memorial to Ralph Fitzau (1908-1983) and replaces the similar one taken to “La Mortola” by Lady Hanbury in 1938.
In 1914 Kingston Maurward was bought by Cecil Hanbury, the son of Sir Thomas Hanbury who had purchased “La Mortola” on the Italian/French border on the Mediterranean. Thomas developed “La Mortola” into the renowned “living museum of flora” visited by Queen Victoria and other royalty and notable figures of the day. In 1903 he presented the 60 acre site of the new garden at Wisley to the Royal Horticultural Society as a trust. Meanwhile Cecil established a student exchange at Kew.
Today following a period of decline and neglect “La Mortola” is known as the Hanbury Botanic Garden and belongs to the University of Genoa .