Bramshill Park


Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Bramshill, Hampshire


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Statutory Address:
Bramshill, Hampshire

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Hart (District Authority)
Hart (District Authority)
Hart (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A series of early C17 to early C18 formal walled gardens, terraces and avenues set in a park, including uniquely, extensive early C17 water gardens surrounding a surviving contemporary Jacobean house, created from 1605 by Edward, Lord Zouche, all standing within a park of medieval origin. The formal landscape was altered and extended from 1699 to the mid-C18, and later in the C18, in part restored in the mid-C19, and again in the 1930s-1940s. From the mid- to later C19 to the mid-C20, it was given informal features and enlarged to encompass woodland with axial rides.

Reasons for Designation

Bramshill Park is registered at Grade I for the following principal reasons:

Design and landscape interest:

* the house, formal gardens and park are a tour de force of Jacobean engineering and vision in the way in which the designed landscape and buildings were created using the topography and habitat, building on the existing medieval framework;

* the exceptional, probably unique, survival of an early C17 water garden with its associated mansion;

* the presence of major ‘destination’ gardens, in the lake and maze, both of exceptional size, and routes to them;

* the succession of C17 walled enclosures, a parterre and substantial earthworks of a C17 or early C18 Italian garden, their relationship to the house and the topography revealing how the house was perceived in its landscape;

* the legibility of the C17 and early C18 scheme of a high status house, set above formal enclosures, opening directly onto and overlooking open park traversed by formal avenues and walks;

* the added early to mid-C18 landscape of formal gardens, a wilderness and Green Ride that built on the existing framework and are evidence of changing attitudes to appreciation of the landscape;

* the legacy of the Cope family, for their conscious retention and restoration of the house, structures and landscape, and their enhancement of the landscape through C19 tree-planting schemes;

* the potential of the site to reveal the archaeology of the medieval and C17 park, the C17 and early C18 formal gardens, structures within the landscape and system of waterworks and ponds related to the conduit houses.

Historic interest:

* de Zouche's ambition to create a house and gardens comparable with the great establishments of the day, being one of only three houses built or altered in the Jacobean period known to include two state apartments, for king and queen;

* the underlying medieval and Tudor house, deer park and approaches;

* the survival of C17 and C18 surveys, later maps and building accounts, describing the evolution of the estate.

Group value:

* with the Grade I-listed house, gateways, walled enclosures and turrets and High Bridge, and Grade II-listed walls and gate piers, stables and lodges.


The Bramshill manors were owned by the early C14 by Sir John Foxley. In 1347 his son, Thomas, was licensed to enclose 2,500 acres (1012ha) and to make a deer park, and between 1351 and 1360, built, or altered an existing house at Bramshill. The property descended through the Foxley family until the late C15 after which it passed through various hands including those of Lord Daubeny in 1499 and of the Crown, Edward VI then granting it to William Paulet, first Marquess of Winchester, in 1547. In 1605 it was sold to Edward, Lord Zouche of Harringworth, a diplomat, patron of science and a horticulturalist, who laid out a notable physic garden in Hackney, London. He was a close friend of Sir Henry Wotton, and connected with leading statesmen and important builders of high status houses and gardens of the period, notably William, Lord Burghley and Robert Cecil. Perhaps keen to confirm his place in society, he created the present mansion and landscape, in easy reach of London. It was executed principally from 1605-1612, but work continued to his death in 1625 when it passed to his cousin Sir Edward Zouche. It stands on the site of, and incorporates elements of Thomas Foxley's house, which contribute to its unusual plan and relationship to the landscape. With Hatfield House (Hertfordshire) and Audley End (Essex) it was one of only three houses built or altered in the Jacobean period known to include two state apartments, for king and queen (Cole, 2010, 275-80).

It was during Lord Zouche's ownership and that of the Henley family, who purchased the property in 1639/40, that the C17 landscape was laid out, about intersecting avenues on the main south-west to north-east axis and north-west to south-east axes, (the latter avenue later known as the Reading Avenue), and linking walks. It included impressive water gardens in the lake with its island (extant in 1615), a system of ponds, served by conduit houses, walled gardens and terraces around the house, and the maze, shown on Isaac Justis’ survey of the Great Parke and Colt Parke of 1699.

Justis’ survey shows the house, preceded by forecourts on the long south-west to north-east axis, and surrounded by a polygonal space, marked blank, but coinciding with the area occupied by contemporary walled gardens and terraces, and with a small enclosure beyond it to the south-west, on the 1756/7 map named as the Wilderness Close; records of 1666 also refer to a wilderness, assumed to lie to the south of the house (see ACTA 2013, 20), while the 1699 map shows a path, which by 1756/1757 is named Lady Abney’s walk, along the outer side of the trapezoidal formal gardens. The deer park is shown on Justis’ survey as by that date lying largely to the north and east of the house.The estate extended westwards beyond the river Hart to the boundary marked by a pale, the westerly extent marked by the position of the C19 Hazeley lodges, and the map distinguishes between the impaled or enclosed fields in the valley, and the open heath beyond it and above it. The map shows a lodge roughly midway between the north-west end of the house and the maze, which possibly in the C17 was used as a viewing point en route to the lake and maze. It was later given prominence, being enclosed by a circle of trees. In addition to a farm, and bridge carrying the south-west approach over the river, there was a deer barn to the south-east of the house, and an enclosed paddock course, traditionally used for chasing deer, against the park pale on the north-east edge of the park, this and other names reflective of the functions of a medieval deer park. The extent of the C17 park, an area of 599 acres in 1699 and again in 1730, changed little before it was expanded in the C18 and C19.

In 1699, Bramshill was sold to Sir John Cope (d 1749), remaining in the Cope family until the 1930s. Sir John both restored and developed the house and grounds, building on the existing framework, possibly intentionally conservatively.

Designs for the formal gardens below the south-east front are set out in a plan of the trapezoidal Italian garden by [GC] Dering of 1715, inscribed ‘Bramzell garden by Mr Dering before tha was altard’ and in an undated early C18 garden plan of the wider formal gardens. The first, an oblique view, perhaps reflecting how it was to be viewed from above, and the extraordinary topography, shows a tripartite pond enclosed by terraced walks and a geometric arrangement of walks linked by circular open spaces, which, it is suggested, shows similarities to Constantino de Servi’s design for Prince Henry’s garden at Richmond Palace, London of c1610 (Henderson, 2016). The second shows the reduced footprint of the house, and its north and south forecourts, the detailed layout of the parterre, the troco (bowls) terrace, a water head, a black and white tiled terrace reminiscent of Henrietta Maria’s early C17 paving at Somerset House, London and the enclosing paths, walls and gateways, suggesting either a survival of early C17 gardens of some sophistication or an C18 attempt to recreate historicist gardens that befitted the house (Henderson, 2005, 2016; Understanding the Heritage Value, 2016, p130).

During the C18 the Copes continued large-scale tree planting in the park which included the laying out of a complex pattern of avenues and formal tree features set on the heath and slopes of the scarp. Walks and rides were extended to provide circuits, among them the New Walk, later known as the Green Ride (Estate plan,1733). The plan shows a hedged and tree-lined walk that opens up into a triangular area to the south of the main approach to the house, where avenues diverge towards the river Crabtree Bridge, and, according to the slightly earlier 1730 plan, connect with the diagonal walk above the formal gardens. To the north of the drive the Green Ride is shown to be crossed by shorter tree-lined walks, some shown on Justis' plan, that extend each side into hedged closes, strongly suggesting that it was consciously designed to provide a journey through a pastoral landscape, according with the early C18 concept of the ferme ornée (ornamented farm; Debois, 1992, 2017). Set below the scarp and avoiding the ramp on the main drive, it may also have provided an alternative, flatter route to the house and services.

The estate map of 1756/7 gives the clearest insight into the mid-C18 landscape. It shows a network of paths and avenues forming linked walks across the heathland, radiating from two rond-points to the north of the house. The wilderness, also shown on the 1733 plan, is closely planted with converging avenues of trees, which may allude to the sudden scarp, and flank the long water, a canal formed from the three ponds shown on Justis’ survey. In contrast, as implied by the 1733 plan, the lower area of the park, below the scarp, was formed of hedged closes crossed by paths and walks while northwards from the house, towards the lake and maze, the park appears relatively open, unimpeded by trees, walks or structures. The map also shows the park pale and garden structures within the landscape.

In the late C18 and early C19, the park and gardens were given a degree of informality with the formation of the serpentine Broad Water on the course of the River Hart and the return to rough grassland of the trapezoidal Italian garden below the house. The heaths to the east, parts of which were imparked at that time, were also first planted with conifers and a system of rides laid out across them (estate map, nd; OS Surveyor's drawing, 1792/1806), notable among them, the Fir Avenue, laid out in about 1800. Much of the existing tree planting dates from the 1820s (Debois, 1992; City and Country, 2016).

The house and structures in the park underwent two further restorations, the first in the 1850s by Sir William Cope, an antiquarian, and author of 'Bramshill: Its History and Architecture' (1883), with architectural advice from James Fergusson. The High Bridge, dated 1856, and restored walled gardens and northern forecourt gateway, which carries his initials, reflect his intervention. In 1920, after a period of neglect, Captain and Mrs Denzil Cope undertook restoration of the garden including the creation of Ladywell Pond, on the site of the tripartite ponds in the Italian garden. Their son, Sir Denzil, sold Bramshill to Lord Brocket in 1936, whose wife created water gardens between Dog Kennel Pond and White Pond.

On his subsequent sale of the whole estate in 1952, the house, gardens, and some of the surrounding parkland were purchased by the Home Office for use as a Police Staff College, who developed an extensive campus to the north of the house. Adjoining areas of parkland within the site were sold as farmland and are in private hands while the remaining estate land was sold commercially, with much of it leased to the Forestry Commission which manages it as commercial woodland. In April 2014 the Home Office estate was sold to City and Country.


A series of early C17 to early C18 formal walled gardens, terraces and avenues set in a park, including uniquely, extensive early C17 water gardens surrounding a surviving contemporary Jacobean house, created from 1605 by Edward, Lord Zouche, all standing within a park of medieval origin. The formal landscape was altered and extended from 1699 to the mid-C18, and later in the C18, in part restored in the mid-C19, and again in the 1930s-1940s. From the mid- to later C19 to the mid-C20, it was given informal features and enlarged to encompass woodland with axial rides.

An exceptional and rare survival of a C17 house and its contemporary, designed landscape, the house and park are a tour de force of Jacobean engineering and vision in the way in which the landscape and buildings were created using the topography and habitat, creating sometimes dramatic views on journeys to and from the house and formal gardens, to and from features disposed at some distance within the park, and across the heathland plateau to the lower, river valley.

The C17 and C18 landscape of a house standing in open parkland traversed by axial avenues and a network of tree-lined rides and walks, and immediately surrounded by formally arranged enclosures, which open directly onto routes across the un-manicured park, remains highly legible.

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Bramshill is situated on the north side of the A30, Camberley to Basingstoke road, circa 2km north of Hartley Wintney on the B3011. The approximately 240ha (593 acre) registered site comprises circa 10ha of formal enclosed gardens and ornamental grounds, parts of which incorporate the former police staff college campus buildings (August 2017), surrounded by a park of enclosed pasture, open lawns and woodland. From the south-west part of the site, which occupies the floor of the valley of the River Hart, the land rises gently, but sharply in places, north-eastwards up the side of the valley onto a level plateau, characteristically heathland, with steep scarps defining the promontory on which the house stands. The boundaries are enclosed entirely by agricultural fencing and are surrounded to the north-west, west, and south by a narrow belt of farmland and heathland contained by minor roads (Plough Lane to the west and the B3011 to the south-west). A major landfill site abuts the boundary in the north corner while to the south-east, east, and north-east, forestry plantations form the setting, with operational sand and gravel extraction pits within the woodland to the south-east.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES Bramshill is reached by C17 bi-axial avenues, with the principal entrance and approach from the south-west. From a lane leading 400m north-east from the B3011, the drive crosses the historic park boundary at Hazeley Heath Lodges (also known as Double Lodge) where it passes through an early and later C19 carriage gateway in a screen wall flanked by a pair of three-storey square lodge houses (listed Grade II), from which the house can be seen on the scarp in the distance. The drive runs north-eastwards, following a course axial on the house which is shown established on the plan of 1699. It gradually descends towards the river, which in the later C18/early C19 was widened to form the Broad Water, crossing on the High Bridge, built by William Cope in 1856 (listed Grade I, NHLE: 1091941) to replace an earlier bridge. Beyond the bridge, the approach rises, crossing the Green Ride, and up a steep man-made, earth ramp (extant in 1699) in the form of a broad grassy slope, and lined with oaks of varying ages. Above it the house is gradually and dramatically revealed, redolent of Hardwick Hall (Derbyshire) and Wollaton (Nottinghamshire), before meeting the forecourt enclosure on the south-west, entrance front of the house. The metalled drive follows a parallel tree-lined course on the north-west side of the ramp, continuing along the north-west side of the forecourt and serves both the principal, south-west entrance to the house and subsidiary entrances, off a turning circle, on the north-west front. The north-western half of the turning circle is enclosed with further walling dating from the C18 to early C20 with, axial on the north-west door to the house, a gateway framed by red-brick piers capped with stone vases (walls and gate piers to west of Bramshill House, listed Grade II, NHLE: 1091940). An C18 stable block, now in part garages, (listed Grade II, NHLE: 134027) stands 40m north of the house, immediately beyond the turning circle. The main axial route continues north of the house through the northern succession of walled enclosures, and C17 gateway, to open onto a C20 sweet chestnut avenue, on the line of the main pre-C17 approach to the house, from Eversley and Windsor. The, secondary, drive continues past the house through late C19 or early C20 gatepiers before joining Reading Avenue.

The main vehicular approach to Bramshill (2017), by the C19 known as READING AVENUE, also dates from the early C17 when it formed a cross-axis with the main approaches, and route to the destination gardens. The current road enters from Plough Lane to the north-east, fringed with trees and, on its north-east side, by a landfill site on former gravel pits, before joining the C17 route at the north-west corner of the lake. This north-east extension to the present Plough Lane entrance was laid out as an avenue (OS Surveyor's drawing, 1806) which survived until the mid-C20 (OS) and is now largely replaced by conifer plantations. By 1756/1757 the C17 avenue route had been extended north-west, on the C17 axis, and this C18 extension runs 700m south-eastwards from Plough Lane to the lake, as a track through woodland. From this point the drive follows the C17 route along the dam and causeway forming the south-west bank of the early C17 lake, above a steep scarp to the south-west, with the maze on the higher ground to the north-west, as shown on Justis’ survey of 1699. The current road follows a short diversion round the campus buildings, while the historic route continues south-east between campus buildings. It crosses the south-west to north-east axis and drive at the gateway to the stable yard, early C17 gateway and head of the chestnut avenue, continuing beyond the walled gardens as a pollarded lime avenue, re-planted planted in the C19, and now the approach to The Pheasantry.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING BRAMSHILL HOUSE (listed Grade I, NHLE: 1340025) stands to the south-centre of the site, on a promontory on the south-west edge of the plateau overlooking its formal gardens and looking out over the deer park to the River Hart valley and to wooded ridges, and over heathland and woods to the north and east. The house was built between 1605 and 1625 by Lord Zouche, on the site of Thomas Foxley's house of the mid-C14 of which remnants survive, incorporated into the present fabric. One of the largest Jacobean houses, and previously attributed to John Thorpe (Country Life, 1899) it is built in red brick with stone dressings. Roughly rectangular in plan, formed of four ranges set round a very narrow inner court; each long elevation terminates in a short projecting wing. The main entrance opens into a hall, with a chamber above. The principal rooms of the royal apartments overlook the gardens to the south-east, leading to the long gallery on the north-east front, with smaller chambers on the north-west front. As was fashionable in great houses of the period, the roof (the leads) can be reached on all but the north-west side. Short of money, it is assumed that Zouche never realised his full intention and vision for the house and landscape. The house was reduced in size between 1695 and 1703 by the shortening of the wings shown flanking the main forecourt in 1699 that included part of the royal apartments (Cole, 2010). It was also altered internally in the C18. It underwent restorations in both 1851 and 1920.

The south-west front, which rises to three-storeys, has a great frontispiece consisting of a three-bay arcade, the central arch of which is surmounted by three tiers of decorated pilasters and a central bow-fronted oriel from which the main approach is visible, while there are glancing views over the Italian garden and deer park to the south. On the south-east, garden, front, the projecting wings at each end each contain an added loggia overlooking a terrace of C17 origin which opens onto a connecting troco or bowls terrace and via steps to the parterre. From the principal, first-floor rooms the transition from the formality of the terraced troco garden, to the level parterre, to the deep Italian garden and beyond it to the rough slopes of the deer park and fields in the distance is clearly legible. The north-west front was probably the original C16 entrance, indicated by an arched brick entrance which leads into a narrow, internal courtyard. It is of two storeys and articulated with three canted bays, of which the central gable encloses a stone figure of Edward, Lord Zouche. The first-floor is given over to the long gallery which overlooks the main axial gardens and gateway and the wider landscape to the north and north-west, and formal gardens, the former wilderness and rough grassland of the deer park to the south and south-east. The north-east elevation contains smaller private chambers, that potentially overlooked a route along the scarp and features along it indicated on Justis' survey, and an open swathe of woodland indicated on subsequent maps and aerial photographs (see PLEASURE GROUNDS below).

FORMAL GARDENS The house stands among an exceptional series of C17 and early C18 formal walled enclosures, believed to be established to their present plan in the early C17. They lie immediately south-east and north-east of the house, below the royal apartments, and overlook remnants of the mid-C18 wilderness and park. They were designed to be seen and reached from the house, and typically, the intricate design of the gardens would have been reflected in decorative features in the house. To the north-west of the house are C17 walled kitchen gardens.

The principal, south-west entrance front opens onto a 100m long rectangular FORECOURT, shown in plan on the Justis survey of 1699 as three distinct courts, as favoured at the time. It is enclosed along the southern side by a C17 and C18 brick parapet wall and is laid to gravel and lawn. At each outer corner stands a small C17 and C18 octagonal red-brick turret with a lead ogee cap (walls and turrets listed Grade I, NHLE: 1091939), linked by a screen fence, with ornamental posts, panels and finials, installed by William Cope, which allows a broad vista along the main drive both to and from the house. On the north-western side, the forecourt is similarly enclosed by a C17 and C18 brick wall, set back from the line of the house to allow for the drive which passes the northern front of the house. It forms the southern wall of the walled kitchen garden, on the slope below it.

Below the south-east front, beneath the level of the terrace and loggias, FORMAL GARDENS, defined in outline on Justis’ plan of 1699 and in detail on the early C18 plans, survive as impressive earthworks, with detail of the parterre evident as parchmarks (RCHME, 1998). As elsewhere at Bramshill, the highly unusual polygonal form reflects the dramatic topography, that informed the way in the which the landscape was seen obliquely from above.

At lowest level below the forecourt wall is the trapezoidal Italian garden, now under rough grass, which closely resembles Dering’s early C18 plan. It is impressively some 12m deep from the top of the terraced banks which enclose it on the northern, eastern and southern sides, to the base of the causeway, which forms a dam to the pond, and was originally laid out as a walkway, and above which the house towers. On the northern side there are four tiers of terraces, the upper two converging towards the southerly pepperpot. The southern bank is built into what appears to be a natural spur. The three separate ponds, shown on the C18 plans, appear to have gone by 1871 (OS 1875). The current pond, which is loosely trapezoidal, was recreated in the 1920s. In the north-east corner, at the base of the banks is a conduit head, the lady’s well, built of probably C18 brick, with 1m long brick revetments to each side. Mounted on it is a stone panel with a figure of a woman in relief. Above it and aligned centrally on the south-east front is a levelled lawn, the former parterre, approximately 50m x 50m, defined by a slight raised platform on the outer edges. The site of a former wellhead or fountain in the centre can be detected. Between the parterre and the loggia geophysics detected a low bank, suggesting a former terrace, that continues southwards above the Italian garden and below the forecourt wall. Above the parterre is the troco ground, a levelled lawn reached by a gate from the loggia and contained by a buttressed retaining wall and circular bastion, all with a pierced balustrade, and built of C17 and C18 brick and restored by Cope in the mid-C19. Leading diagonally south-west from the bastion, a shallow hollow way corresponds with the path shown on the 1699 plan, later known as Lady Abney’s walk. It dies out towards the end of the spur, which is covered with bracken. A line of oaks stands to the north of the path above the pond. A second path leads south-east from the bastion parallel to a water-filled ditch and lined with mature oaks, to a platform above the slope to the Long Water. There is no upstanding evidence of the conduit or tank marked on Justis' survey.

The walled gardens on the north-east front, overlooked by the long gallery, consist of an 80m x 90m enclosure divided by internal walls into four compartments (garden walls and gateways north of Bramshill Park, listed Grade I, NHLE: 1340026). The northern entrance from the house, through a C16 arched gateway, opens into a small compartment forming a forecourt, with two symmetrical parterres of lavender laid out either side of an axial path. The path leads north-east through an arched gateway in the wall (a reset panel above dated 16 ?1/7? 5) into a larger rectangular compartment, laid to lawn with perimeter shrubbery, which has set into its outer, north-east wall, an early C17 tripartite stone gateway (restored by William Cope), with a central pedimented arch framed within enriched Tuscan pilasters (listed Grade I, NHLE: 1091938). It opens directly onto the park on the north-east axial route, which was the main, pre-C17 approach to the house. The northern wall of the outer court is line with bee boles. Simple arched gateways lead south-eastwards into two further compartments: the south-east, and largest, compartment is planted with a late C20 design of bedding which replaces a former rose garden (Country Life, 1923); a further gate opens into the troco ground.

KITCHEN GARDEN The kitchen garden, which is shown in plan on the Justis survey of 1699, stands to the immediate north-west of the house, on the slopes above Dog Kennel Pond. It is a rectangular enclosure of red-brick walls, defined on the southern side by the forecourt walls (listed Grade I, NHLE: 1091939) and on the eastern section by walls and gate piers to west of Bramshill House (listed Grade II, NHLE: 1091940). It is reached from the drive on the north-west of the house by a small ornamental gate. It is laid to grass with an informal planting of ornamental and fruit trees and an intermittent belt of shrubbery along the walls. Adjacent, to the north-east, is a late C19 or early C20 gardener's cottage. Late C20/early C21 water tanks are housed in the north-east corner of the gardens.

PLEASURE GROUNDS To the south-east of the house and formal gardens lies the long water set in remnants of the mid-C18 wilderness. To the north-west of the house, there are informal wooded gardens, with ponds, beyond the C17 walled kitchen gardens.

The land falls away steeply to the east of the formal gardens to the long water, a canal formed by 1756/1757 from three ponds shown on Justis’ plan. The RCHME survey (1998) identified walks extending from the dam and diagonal (Lady Abney’s) walk curving around the back of the garden, the lower walk linking to a possible garden near the avenue to the east. The sides of the valley are wooded, with the remains of lines of mature oak and sweet chestnut aligned parallel to the canal and valley, but also framing open swathes which run down the slope from the parterre to the valley, from which the house emerges. Historic maps show first a small and later a more extensive and informal wilderness which opened into a network of paths, leading towards Crabtree Bridge and the river, and east and north to the main avenues connecting to Eversley Drive, that were interposed with buildings and garden structures. The land to the south-east and east of the long water (The Pheasantry) once part of the Colte Parke and wilderness, and also intersected by a network of rides, is now primarily planted with conifers.

To the north-west of the house the land drops steeply to the walled kitchen gardens and chimneys of the gardener's cottage, with the house standing dramatically above them. A slightly raised walk runs northwards from the double gateway to the drive, against the south-east wall of the kitchen garden, adjacent to the remnants of an orchard, where the ground is highly uneven and disturbed. Beyond the kitchen garden, the ground slopes away to light woodland containing an upper, north-eastern, and a lower pond, both of which are shown on Justis' survey of 1699, and are likely to be of medieval origin. The upper, known as Dog Kennel Pond, has its banks and islands planted with ornamental shrubbery including azaleas. The lower, White Pond, which had disappeared from maps by the mid-C19 (Tithe map, 1842) was restored in the mid-C20 by Lord and Lady Brocket who also, in 1949, erected the stone bridge spanning their new water gardens and cascade, connecting the ponds, and from which the house is again seen, set on the scarp above.

Beyond the orchard, roughly on the line of the raised walk, are the remains of rows of mature oak and sweet chestnut and also an avenue of conifers. The oaks and sweet chestnut then follow the line of the scarp to the north-west. The current college buildings (2017) obscure an open ride, north-west along the scarp, which is visible on the aerial photograph of 1947 and indicated on maps as late as the 1961 OS map (based on an earlier survey), extending northwards from the house. This connected swathe is implied on early maps by the linear arrangement of the house, lodge, and maze, suggesting an axial view from the principal chambers of the house. It is marked by the extant row of mature trees. Beyond the ponds, the campus buildings extend 400m north-west and north beneath a canopy of intermittent light woodland which has grow up around them, before meeting the C17 line of the Reading Avenue above the scarp. On the scarp within the woodland is an intact late C18 to early C19 icehouse.

PARK Bramshill is considered unique for the survival of a Jacobean house and its contemporary water garden (Henderson, op cit). The major early C17 water feature of the park, the LAKE, was extant by 1615, from an account for painting the building on the island, and shown on Justis' survey. It lies 300m north of the house and with the maze it was regarded as a ‘destination’ garden, to be visited on foot or horseback from the house. It is contained by an earth dam, which forms a causeway or ride along the north-west and north-east sides, suggesting it was intended to be viewed from this point. The pond's central square island, laid out diagonally as a lozenge, is planted with pines and rhododendrons. On it are the footings of a structure built of early, probably C17 brick and originally also of timber. Early brick is also exposed along the shoreline of the causeway. The south-west shore is irregular. By the later C19 there was a boathouse on the southern shore of the lake, of which the platform survives.

Set on higher ground to the north-west of the lake is the MAZE, also shown on Justis’ survey. It is a large circular earthwork c132m in diameter, clearly visible on Lidar and comparable with the feature shown on the 1730 map, shown surrounded with a spiral of trees, and on later C19 OS maps. It comprises an outer bank and ditch now c1m deep, enclosing a central platform, on which Lidar reveals a small eminence on the eastern side, perhaps a view point or gazebo, from which the house and a wide prospect over the plateau might be seen. Further survey is needed, but the western side of the platform has a lip suggesting perhaps that the surface rises to a high point, as a gentle spiral. The outer bank and surrounding woodland contain mature trees; the platform is (2017) overgrown with rhododendron and bracken. Lidar reveals an entrance on the north-east. A boundary bank and ditch continues westwards beyond the circular feature. The path to the maze continues through mixed woodland of mature trees, along the boundary fence, flanked by beech, towards the Green Ride. Before it reaches the ride, the landscape opens to reveal fields enclosed by single and double lines of oaks as shown on the 1733 and subsequent maps.

The GREEN RIDE, named as such in the C20, is an early to mid-C18 route through a pastoral landscape, providing short excursions into it both east and west of the ride along tree-lined walks, some of C17 origin, crossing the main drive at the bottom of the ramp to continue through the deer park. North-west of the main drive, the ride is a broad grass track lined with mature oaks, spaced to allow glimpses of the fields, which remain as pasture, backed by woodland on the scarp to the east and by the woodland by the river to the west, before reaching the C19 and early C20 woodland and water garden on the east. After the ride connects with the path from the maze, the avenue extends northwards to Plough Lane, lining a track. South of the drive the ride crosses the open parkland, at first as a causeway, and is lined by an avenue of substantial veteran oaks, interspersed with new planting, and again with the remnants of a short double line of oaks running south-west, towards the river at its southern end. It terminates in a platform which forms a causeway between the long water and smaller pond below it, before connecting with the former wilderness. Beyond it is an open field, currently mostly under pasture, but recently in part planted with trees.

While the park surrounds the house and gardens on all sides, the current area of deer-grazed parkland lies south-west of the walled gardens, as rough pasture, on the slopes down to the river or Broad Water. Constructed as a serpentine water course by the late C18, the BROAD WATER has since silted up, but its former course is marked by alder carr and willow set back from the river bank.

The main area of open PARK north and east of the house in 2017 comprises sports fields and lawns flanked by woodland, around campus buildings to its immediate north-east. Originally heathland, that survived until at least 1899 (Country Life, 1899), it was traversed by C17 and later avenues, tree-lined walks and rides, dominated by the C17 south-west to north-east axial avenue, and the north-west Reading Avenue (see Entrances and Approaches, above). Remnants of this C17 and early C18 pattern of avenues, some of which appear to have been replanted as part of the early to mid-C19 period of park expansion, survive in the north-east part of the park, as do sections of a further series of avenues and rides laid out through the C19 conifer woodland, although overgrown (2017).

Adjacent to the campus buildings, to the north-east of the Reading Avenue where it diverges to form the current access, are two mature sweet chestnuts. North-east from the triple-arched gateway to the walled garden, the main pre C17 approach and C17 SOUTH-WEST TO NORTH-EAST AXIS through the house continues across open parkland for roughly 130m, with remnants of the original oak avenue, and as a sweet chestnut avenue, replanted in the late C20. A depression on the lawns to the south of the avenue marks the site of the former Black Pond. The avenue's north-eastward extension through the conifer woods beyond the site boundary, shown on OS editions from 1875 until the mid-C20, survives in part.

The avenue of pollarded limes on the south-east axis leading (2017) to the Pheasantry runs diagonally c100m from near the south-east corner of the walled gardens before turning north-north-east to join the course of the FIR AVENUE planted in the early C19, and part of a notable and much admired collection of Scotch and silver firs (Country Life, 1899), and in part surviving. Leading off it is the longest ride, known as Sir Richard’s Ride, and shown on the OS map of 1875, which runs from a point within the woodland approximately 850m east of the house for a distance of 2.2km to Hawkers Lodge on the B3016. Mounds, set at intervals along the avenues and heath, along the parish boundary, and some outside the current boundary of the registered landscape, may have provided viewing points.

On higher ground within mixed woodland, some 330m north-east of the house, stands a CONDUIT HOUSE which was probably built by the Henley family in the second half of the C17. It is shown on Justis' 1699 survey as the 'conduit' and as a 'water house' on the 1756-7 plan. It may connect with the Black Pond which, until the late C18, lay to its south-east. It is built of C17 brick, with a C17 oculus in each gable. It was rendered in the C20 when it acquired a blind two-light Gothic window on each gable wall and an iron cross mounted on the north-eastern gable. It has a pointed arched entrance which opens onto a sunken floor level in which there is a circular brick well.

Beyond the block of mixed woodland is a further area of playing fields which merges into rough grass partly reverted to heath. Crossing it is the remnant of a mature lime avenue. The boundary at this point follows an outer park pale, the line of which is first shown on the OS Surveyor's drawing of 1806; its continuation south-eastwards was probably destroyed during late C20 gravel extraction (Debois 1992).

Beyond the lawns, rough grassland and mixed woodland, east and south-east of the house, the majority of the park is predominantly planted with commercial softwood plantations. These were developed in the mid- to late C20 from the conifer planting, largely of Scots pine, which occurred in the mid- to late C19 over both the former deer park and, to the south-east, on heathland newly imparked between c1810 and 1830 (Debois 1992; OS 1875, 1897).

MAPS AND ARCHIVAL SOURCES Valuation of Bramshill, 1666 (Cope family collection, Hampshire Record Office) Isaac Justis, Bramshill Parke, 1699 Survey of Bramshill, 1730 A Survey of Lands adjoining to Bramzell Park, 1733 Survey of Bramshill, 1756-7 Plan of Bramshill, nd (late C18 or c1800) Tithe map for Eversley parish, 1842

OS Surveyor's drawing, 2" to 1 mile, surveyed 1806 (British Library Maps) OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1871-2, published 1875 2nd edition published 1897 3rd edition published 1912 OS 25" to 1 mile: 3rd edition published 1911

Description written: November 1998 Amended: May 2000 Register Inspector: VCH Edited: January 2004 Amended: September 2017


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Parks and Gardens


Books and journals
Victoria History of the County of Hampshire IV, (1911), 32-41
Henderson, Paula, The Tudor House and Garden: Architecture and Landscape in the C16th and early C17th Centuries , (2005)
Jacques, D, Gardens of Court and Country, English Design 1630-1730 , (2017)
Pevsner, N, Bullen, M, Crook, J, Hubbuck, R, The Buildings of England: Hampshire: Winchester and the North, (2010), 196-202
Sir William H Cope, Bart, , Bramshill: Its History and Architecture , (1883)
Hills, H , 'Bramshill House, Hampshire – I' in Country Life, (October 10, 1985), 1011-1015
Hills, H , 'Bramshill House, Hampshire - II' in Country Life, (October 17, 1985), 1095-1099
Hussey, C, 'Bramshill -1 Hampshire, the seat of Captain Denzil Cope' in Country Life, , Vol. 53, (2 June), 758-68
Hussey, C, 'Bramshill - II, Hampshire, The Seat of Captain Denzil Cope' in Country Life, , Vol. 53, (9 June), 818-25
'Bramshill Park, Hampshire - I, The Seat of Sir Anthony Cope, Bart' in Country Life, (April 8th, 1899 ), 432-5
'Bramshill Park, Hampshire - II, The Seat of Sir Anthony Cope, Bart' in Country Life, (April 15th, 1899), 464-7
Beer, S, 'From Aristocrat’s playground to Police Staff College' in Historic Gardens Review , (Summer 1998), 32-6
ACTA Conservation Statement (2013)
City and Country, Bramshill Landscape, Understanding the Heritage Value of the Landscape (vs 2, December 2016)
Debois Landscape Group, Survey of the landscape at Bramshill Park (Nov 1991, revised March 1992)
Emily V Cole, The State Apartments in the Jacobean Country House, 1603-1625 (D Phil thesis University of Sussex (Sept 2010)
Feilden and Mawson, Bramshill (March 2016)
Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates, Bramshill Park, Hampshire (2005)
John Phibbs, Dubois Lanscape Survey Group, The Landscape of the Pheasanrty, Bramshill (April 2017)
P Henderson, The landscape and Gardens of Bramshill (July 2015 + March 2016)
RCHME, An Earthwork Survey of the Gardens at Bramshill - Hampshire (1998)


This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.

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