Our story – A journey of discovery

Phil and Amanda fell in love with Caisson the moment they saw it. Drawn to this dramatic and unusual backdrop, they took the leap which would start the next stage in the property’s 200 year history.

It wasn’t straightforward. The land was overgrown, the house was dilapidated, and the couple were determined that Caisson would be transformed using regenerative practices. And so they set about their task: soil health was restored using composted vegetable and garden waste. Some areas were left wild so the diverse fauna and flora could thrive. Step by step, the landscape you see today slowly emerged. And their approach has produced gardens that are buzzing with pollinating insects and rich in wildflowers.

Luckily, Phil and Amanda both come from dairy farming backgrounds in Somerset. Working the land, rising early and working long days are nothing new to them – in fact they have come full circle, moving back to the countryside they love so much.

Phil & Amanda

Amanda’s early years, growing up on a farm in Somerset, instilled in her the love of plants and also the appreciation of the landscape’s natural beauty which have driven her work at Caisson. She places huge importance on organic gardening.

Phil was brought up on a farm only half a mile from Caisson. He led an outdoor, practical childhood where he learned to love the natural environment – the land, the wildlife, anything that caught his eye while exploring with his 7 siblings.

The couple met in London when she joined him to build the business he had founded creating greenery sets for film and TV productions. Together they developed a drive for sustainable horticulture – it became their mantra.

After more than 20 years of living and working in London, the move back to Somerset was not a difficult decision. A family of their own meant time together was important and returning to their roots was an obvious choice – they wanted their children to experience nature in a way they had.

Amanda is a trained Garden Designer and has been pivotal in the garden revival at Caisson, bringing this together in a way that is artistic and romantic. She also runs workshops for students from her studio at Caisson.

Phil’s knowledge of landscaping and plants have combined with years of hands on experience building sets for films including Star Wars, James Bond, Full Metal Jacket, and Bat Man to name a few. With Amanda, he now works tirelessly to make Caisson a slice of paradise.

A history of endeavour and innovation

Walking through the locks is an exhilarating experience. Being immersed in the sense of history and engineering ingenuity all around you is both thrilling and unforgettable.

Caisson Gardens has been shaped by the canal that was built here between 1795 and 1820. The house sits at the summit of a flight of 22 locks constructed from huge Bath stone blocks. These wonderful locks, now free of water, are inherently sculptural as well as being wildlife havens, as they carve across the hillside.

The beautiful lines of the walls, the unusual shapes they form for all the garden areas, the creativity involved in designing the original Caisson Lock, and the land art that the canal itself creates makes this a unique place.

Discover more about the canal and its flight of locks

“We are building a place that’s good for nature and good for the human soul.”