João Esmeraldo, the 1st Count of Carvalhal, purchased the estate 200 years ago and built a hunting lodge as a country retreat. Today, this is Casa Velha do Palheiro, a five-star country house hotel.
The Count imported exotic trees and plants from around the world to stock the extensive gardens – now part of the Palheiro Estate. The folly he built, an octagonal temple of neo-classical design, stands on a hill on land that is now part of the golf course. Today, the building is the emblem of the Palheiro Estate.
John Burden Blandy acquired the estate in 1885 and it has been the family home ever since.