This park went through brief periods of glory and many more of neglect, before being bought by the Portuguese Government in 1947. Until then it was, without doubt, most influenced by its English owners.
In the XVI Century, the park passed from a religious order in Lisbon to its new owners, Geraed de Visne, who finished the house, and William Beckford who created the garden and laid out the main paths that are still there today. But Monserrate was abandoned once again when they returned to England. Its deterioration must have been exacerbated by French troops who installed themselves there, calling forth the comment from Byron in 1811, as being the most desolate mansion in the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
The rebirth of the estate came about through its next owner, Sir Francis Cook, who bought it in the middle of the XIX century. Cook rebuilt the house, and asked William Neville of Kew Gardens in London, to choose a collection of exotic plants. From this beginning grew a garden that at one time had up to 3000 different kinds of plants, varying from giant ferns, cypresses and wetland species, to bamboo, thousands of flowers and a large number of palm trees. As well as all this, bushes and shrubs around and there are woods of autochthonous oak and chestnut trees. The creation of different gardens that represented far-flung parts of the world, like Mexico, Australia and Japan, was made possible by the diverse micro-clilmate that the park enjoyed.