History The Culpeper's acquired Wakehurst in 1464, and the mansion itself is thought to have been finished in the late 16th century. Throughout the intervening years the building has been significantly modified, but does still contain some Elizabethan woodwork. The wonderful gardens were designed and maintained by Gerald Loder who spent 33 years working on this beautiful space. More recently, the mansion was owned by Sir Henry Price, before being leased by the National Trust to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1965. The estate now functions as a gorgeous wedding venue.