With an introduction from Hestercombe's Founder and Chief Executive, Philip White MBE, Sir Andrew Burns KCMG delivers the annual Bampfylde Lecture, held each year to commemorate the birthday of former owner, and designer of the Landscape Garden at Hestercombe, Coplestone Warre Bampfylde.

As outgoing Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Hestercombe's new honorary President, Sir Andrew discusses his tenure at Hestercombe, and delves into its past, present and future - with stories from his life as a career diplomat and former British High Commissioner of Canada.

Watch the full lecture above, or download via Vimeo.

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Watching and downloading the lecture video is completely free, but if you would like to make a donation to our fundraising campaign in return, we would very much appreciate any amount that you can give.

Hestercombe is an independent charity and relies on generous donations from our friends and supporters in order to protect, maintain and develop the 50 acres of gardens for the enjoyment of future generations.

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Hestercombe’s Civic Role

Sir Andrew Burns KCMG
Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

The retiring Chair of Hestercombe Gardens has expressed great gratitude to local Councils and national funders for their support over last two decades.

In the 24th Bampfylde Lecture, delivered online for the first time on Friday 26 February 2021, Sir Andrew Burns praised “the increasingly close and constructive relationship” that the Hestercombe Gardens Trust has enjoyed with Somerset County Council and Somerset West and Taunton (formerly Taunton Deane) District Council and their successive Chairs.

He expressed deep pleasure at the indispensable financial support from the National Heritage Lottery over the years. He particularly thanked the National Heritage Memorial Fund for its 2018 grant of £1.5 million which had enabled the Trust to reunite the exceptional, nationally important, Grade 1 listed, designed landscape with the House and gardens. He said:

Both Councils have shown growing appreciation for the contribution Hestercombe has made to the economy and culture of this part of England...the National Heritage Memorial Fund grant was a wonderful national recognition of the impact and quality of the Hestercombe landscape but also places a responsibility on the Trust to open public access still further.

~ Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

Stressing the determination of the Trustees to live up to expectations of its expanding civic role. Sir Andrew, who is handing on the Chairmanship after 16 years to David Yiend, said that Hestercombe wanted to be “an essential, creative contributor to the health, well-being and happiness” of the people of Somerset and beyond.

Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

Sir Andrew Burns KCMG chaired Hestercombe Gardens Trust from 2004 to 2020, and under his tenure of the chairmanship Hestercombe enjoyed numerous successes. These included: the restoration of Mill and Barn in 2010; the acquisition of Hestercombe House in 2013 from Somerset County Council and the subsequent opening of Hestercombe Gallery and residency by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Centre for Young Musicians; and the historic acquisition of 320 acres of the former Hestercombe estate in 2018.

In addition to his chairmanship of Hestercombe Gardens Trust, an independent charity, Sir Andrew Burns KCMG has been Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the regulator of barristers in England and Wales; the Council of Royal Holloway, University of London; and the national Committee of University Chairs. He was a Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and International Governor of the BBC.

A career diplomat since 1965, with early service in India, Romania and the United States, he was British Ambassador to Israel from 1992-1995, Deputy Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1995 to 1997, British Consul-General in Hong Kong and Macau from 1997-2000 and British High Commissioner to Canada from 2000-2003.

More information & press

For further information on Sir Andrew Burns KCMG, Hestercombe Gardens, David Yiend or Philip White MBE, in addition to quotes and images, please contact Marketing & Communications Manager, Chris White or 01823 410131

Please help us keep Hestercombe open

Over the last 30 years Hestercombe’s historic landscape and its unique, world famous gardens have been lovingly restored.

However, Hestercombe’s closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Hestercombe Gardens Trust’s finances. We’re an independent charity without the safety net of larger organisations, and we must now raise substantial funds to ensure Hestercombe continues to thrive and to help secure its magnificent heritage for future generations.

We would be incredibly grateful for any donation that you are able to give. Thank you.

Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer and you select ‘Please Gift Aid this donation’, the UK Government will give Hestercombe Gardens Trust an additional contribution of 25% at no extra cost to you.

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