16th century English aristocracy were fascinated by delicate, geometric patterns, symbolism and heraldry as well as various forms of fantasy and their gardens reflected these interests.
Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads and neglect have destroyed all of the original Tudor Gardens but a surviving banqueting pavilion and wall at Montacute House have been recreated here. They usually also featured intricate knot gardens overlooked by raised galleries and a garden pavilion. Tudor gardens have often been described as 'fantasy gardens'. They provided the setting for fantasy plays and carved heraldic beasts set on green and white striped poles. In this case a griffin, dragon, centaur, phoenix, unicorn, satyr, sea serpent and Shakespeare's character of Bottom from A Midsummer Night's Dream. These beasts hold the crests for some of the best known Tudor figures.