The Rushmore Estate is nestled within the Cranborne Chase, an ancient deer forest, where King John came to hunt and, within which the “Chase Rights” applied from the Saxon period until 1828. It is a unique area in terms of historical landscape, with a rich archaeological heritage and diversity of flora and fauna. Today, the Estate is involved in a variety of activities including farming, forestry, conservation, leisure and sporting pursuits.

History

Much of the present day character of the Estate was shaped by Lt General Pitt Rivers who inherited in 1880. He created a deer park and ornamental parkland where today the Rushmore Golf Club is located, and carried out a wide variety of landscape planting including what are now spectacular beech avenues and belts. He went on to create the Larmer Tree Pleasure Gardens for the entertainment and enlightenment of the local people. The General was also a pioneering archaeologist and carried out many excavations in the area aided by his estate workforce. His collection of archaeological finds and artefacts were housed in the Pitt Rivers Museum near Farnham from which the present day public house takes its name. The Collections can now be found in Salisbury Museum and The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford

Rushmore Estate woodlands contain one of the largest blocks of semi-natural broad-leaved woodland in southern England. For centuries these were the focus of the hazel underwood trades. The last ten years has seen a major restoration programme and the woods are now recognised as a wildlife site of national importance.The preservation and restoration of the Estates heritage is largely due to the enthusiasm of the General’s great-grandson Michael Pitt Rivers who was owner of Rushmore from the 1950’s until 1999 and then William Gronow Davis until 2015. During this time there has been steady renovation of estate farms and domestic dwellings and a programme of restoration to re-vitalise the landscape and re-create the species rich grassland formerly associated with the Park.