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The Family

The Banks Family

Lawrence Banks (b1938) and his wife, Elizabeth (b1941) have managed the Gardens since 1988. They have two married sons, four grandchildren and four dogs. He is the former Treasurer of the Royal Horticultural Society and she is a noted landscape architect and the RHS President since 2011. They have continued the tradition of planting newly introduced plants, particularly in the Maple Grove, which have been a feature of the garden since 1900.

Richard Alford BanksLawrence’s father, Richard Alford Banks, (Dick) (1902-1997) was an industrialist and Director of ICI. Dick returned to Hergest Croft in 1953 with his first wife, Jane. He brought back the gardens from the neglect caused by World War II and planted a huge number of trees and shrubs. His interest in maples and birches is shown in the range of these genera, which now form National Collections. His widow, Rosamund, continues to care for Park Wood.

William Hartland BanksDick’s father William Hartland Banks, (1876-1930) married Dorothy Alford (1876-1937) in 1893. They also had three daughters. He was a banker, traveller, photographer, gardener and passionate plantsman. Dorothy BanksThey used no professional designer in the gardens but were much influenced by the writings of William Robinson. Planting continued throughout their lifetime. In 1912 they bought Hergest Estate including Park Wood. Many of the trees and shrubs are amongst the earliest planting of these species in Britain including introductions from China by Ernest (Chinese) Wilson for Veitch Nurseries.

Richard William Banks William’s father Richard William Banks, (1819-1891) married Emily Rosa Hartland (1835-1924) in 1858. They had a daughter and son. He moved into Ridgebourne on the Hergest Estate following the death of his aunt. He was also a banker and lawyer, a naturalist, archaeologist and distinguished geologist. He planted some of the earliest exotic trees and the huge Douglas firs in Yeld Wood.

Richard BanksR W Banks’ father, Richard Banks (1791-1871) arrived in Kington in 1814 buying a half-share in the James Davies’ successful legal practice. James Davies was an active entrepreneur and Richard married his niece and heiress Esther Davies.

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