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Henry Moore Studios & Gardens

Muddy says: One of my favourite places in Hertfordshire is the former home of Henry Moore. A morning or afternoon spent in the gardens walking in and out of magnificent bronzes is a tonic. Better still, make a day of it: be inspired by Moore’s studio; have a potter in a barn full of tapestries, and have lunch in the uplifting café.

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, in the hamlet of Perry Green near Much Hadham, is the home of world renowned sculptor Henry Moore.

Today the artist’s former estate houses a peerless sculpture garden set in over 70 acres of landscaped lawns and rolling fields. Each year the gardens are open from April until the end of October, showcasing over 20 of Moore’s iconic monumental sculptures against the beautiful Hertfordshire landscape.

Curious visitors can also take a tour of the Moores’ family home, Hoglands, which houses Henry Moore’s own collection of artworks as well as the flints, bones, shells and other artefacts which inspired his work.

Also open to visitors are Henry Moore’s fascinating studios, where you can explore his creative processes. The shelves of one studio are lined with hundreds of small models (known as maquettes) which show the origins of many of his famous bronze works. Five further studios show how Moore experimented with drawing and etching techniques and worked with stone and wood to create many beautiful carvings. A 16th century Aisled Barn, rescued from a local farm by Moore and relocated to Perry Green, houses a set of stunning tapestries. Delicately coloured and detailed, these unique works are based on the artist’s drawings and were produced by the expert weavers of West Dean College, West Sussex.

A full exploration of Henry Moore Studios & Gardens can easily take a whole day. Thankfully, there are provide delicious refreshments one hand to bolster your energy. The onsite café is set in a sleek new visitor centre (first opened in 2016) with panoramic views over the sculpture gardens. There you will find delicious cakes and light lunches served by local favourites Hopleys – whose homemade quiches and blueberry cake come highly recommended! More substantial fare and a refreshing tipple (or two) are available just across the village green in Moore’s local pub, The Hoops Inn.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire