St John's Manor
Garden open to the public by kind permission of the current owner
There has been a building on the present site of Le Manoir de St Jean La Hougue Boete since the 14th century, and the walls of the kitchen garden are certainly of that date, but there have been many alterations over the years and little remains of the original building. The house was owned by Alexander Spreckley Raworth at the turn of the last century and his coat of arms can been seen over the front door. He was an artist and sculptor who bought the fief in 1910 and probably had the greatest influence in shaping the present manor. He was a keen racehorse owner and you can see memorials for his animals along the lime drive. Spot the labels on the various palm trees in this area which were planted in the 1920s.
When A S Raworth died in 1950, his wife had the chapel built in his memory. This was consecrated in 1952 and Mr Raworth’s remains were interred in the vault. Explore the inside of the chapel, last used for a family wedding in 2012, and see the carving of St John the Baptist from a single tree trunk; this was presented by His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco. The Manor was occupied by the German forces during the Occupation of 1940-1945 and after that time the grounds fell into a state of neglect.
The Nobel Lowndes family acquired the estate in the early 1970s and it was Mr Lowndes who built the Dower House and Cottage, the sports complex, swimming pool, squash court, tennis court and log cabin. He also tidied the grounds and cleared roadways which had become overgrown with brambles since the Occupation.
The Manor stands in ten acres of land, with 40 acres of farmland and surrounding woodland, and the main gardens are set in the fold of the land following the stream with extensive tree planting around the perimeter. This creates a micro climate allowing a wide range of planting which has been added to enormously under the previous ownership. There was a huge re-design following the Great Storm of 1987 which saw the opening up of the lake and garden walkways together with the creation of the tranquil Japanese Garden. Entrance to this beautiful bamboo fenced Oriental garden is through heavy ornately carved doors which are guarded by four marble dragons. On the right, as you enter, there is a wisteria completely covering the underlying tree with a beautiful spruce (Picea) next to it. Acers, weeping larch, bamboo and hundreds of azaleas give this garden its colour and small streams, crossed by bridges, feed into a pond with water lilies and koi carp – can you see the water clock? A very peaceful atmosphere is created by the wind chimes and the serene statue of Buddha.
Particular attention is paid to the thousands of annual bedding plants, they enhance the natural beauty of the gardens and lighten any dark area with their vivid and vibrant colours in island beds and those lining the pathways. Hanging baskets filled with fuchsias, petunias, bidens and begonias are used to great effect. The walled kitchen garden provides a sheltered climate in which both vegetable and flowers flourish in abundance, also in this area are a range of aviaries housing several species of birds of prey – hawks, owls, buzzards and eagles amongst others.
See if you can find.
– The ruins of a folly hidden in the Dragon walk.
– Squeaky Hollow under the large Rhododendron Bush
– The mini Hougue Bie, who is on top?
– The miniature Hampton Court Maze
– The Olde Manor House Well
Please note, St John’s Manor has lakes and ponds throughout the grounds, so parents need to be vigilant at all times.
Le Neuf Chemin
1st of August
Route 7 (Liberation Station to St John’s Church)