The John Rogers who bought Riverhill in 1840 was an only child, with a modest fortune, and a fine intellect. He became a classics scholar, a scientist and a friend of Charles Darwin. He was one of the first members of the Royal Horticultural Society and a patron of the plant collectors of the day.
He chose Riverhill because its sheltered situation offered an ideal lime free hillside where he could hope to establish newly introduced trees and shrubs. From his garden notebook, it can be seen that planting started in 1842. Subsequent generations, continued the planting and in 1910 Colonel John Middleton Rogers created what is now known as ‘The Wood Garden’ a fine collection of Japanese Maples, Rhododendrons and Azaleas. His wife, the infamous Muriel, created many additions including the now hidden Rock Gardens.
Until the beginning of the 2nd World War, eight full time gardeners kept Riverhill looking immaculate. Since the war years, however, a shortage of manpower and a lack of money has meant that the garden was allowed to deteriorate, with many parts of the original planting lost to everyday use and visitors.
Today, four generations of the Rogers family live at Riverhill,
The estate is managed by Edward Rogers (Great-great-great-grandson of the John Rogers who bought Riverhill in 1840) and his wife, Sarah.