The water garden at Westbury Court was created between 1697 and 1705 by Maynard Colchester I, co-founder of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge.
His layout in the newly fashionable Dutch style is still largely as it was originally planned and not to be swept away by the ideas of 'Capability' Brown and Humphrey Repton and the vogue for 'natural landscaping'.
An engraving of Westbury by Kip, dated 1707, shows a house of some size with associated outbuildings and a church. In the grounds were long canals, an elegant two-storey pavilion, a parterre and hedges and many rows of little formal trees.
The church with its tall spire still dominates the area but no trace remains of the Palladian mansion that replaced the Elizabethan manor or the 19th century house that succeeded it.
By 1960 the gardens had fallen into quiet decay -the canals were full of silt, the hedges had either died or become trees and the gardens were hidden under brambles, nettles and thistles.
In 1960 Westbury Court was purchased by a speculator but Gloucestershire County Council bought the property and offered the garden to the National Trust in 1967.
An extensive programme of renovation was launched, using Kip's engraving as a guide. The lawns that had become fields were resown and new hedges planted.
Fortunately Maynard Colchester's orignal planting records survived and only plants from these lists and in cultivation at the time have been introduced.
Westbury Court is laid out on a level site in the water meadows by the River Severn, with hedges fringing the still water of canals, topiary pyramids, red-brick pavilions and formally planted beds. The tall dignified two-storey pavilion, crowned with a cupola, faces down the canal.
A second T-shaped canal , with a statue of Neptune riding a dolphin, is overlooked by a brick gazebo.
On the other side of the gazebo is a small walled garden with box-edged beds planted with old roses and plants known in England before 1700.
Closeby is a simple parterre partly surrounded by old varieties of fruit trees, including quinces and medlars, arranged in a quincunx pattern.
Few of the original trees in the garden have survived but at the end of the T-shaped canal is a holm oak which was planted in the early 1600's and is thought to be the oldest in the country.