Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1000259
Date first listed: 22-Sep-1988
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Dover (District Authority)
District: Dover (District Authority)
Parish: Shepherdswell with Coldred
District: Dover (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TR 28725 47862
Traces of an early C18 formal layout, including a wilderness, surrounding a country seat set in C18 parkland.
The Waldershare estate was purchased by Sir Henry Furness in 1705. The red-brick house, whose design has been attributed to William Talman (Harris 1719) had been built by 1712 and the surrounding formal grounds laid out as shown in a view by J Kip published in 1719 (Harris). The estate passed by marriage to Francis, first Earl Guildford in the mid C18 and has remained with this family although during the C20 the mansion was sold and divided into flats. The house was gutted by fire in 1913 and restored by Sir Reginald Blomfield. The site remains (2001) in divided private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Waldershare Park lies c 10km to the north-west of Dover, on the north-west side of the main A256, Dover to Sandwich road. The c 400ha site occupies a rural location bounded to the north by Kennel Hill, to the west by Coldred Road, to the south-west by Singledge Lane, and to the east and south-east by farmland beyond a shelter belt of beech. Waldershare House stands towards the bottom of the easternmost of two parallel valleys which run north to south through the site, a position which offers no extensive views.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main approach to Waldershare Park is from the early C19 flint and brick Gothic-style Canterbury Lodge (listed grade II) on the Coldred Road, c 1km west of the house. From here the drive runs east across the park to arrive at the north-west front. The drive also extends north-west from Canterbury Lodge as a straight tree-lined track linking Haynes Farm to the park. Dover Lodge lies on Sandwich Road c 800m east-north-east of the house, beyond the boundary of the park (outside the area here registered). Its drive runs west to the north-east front of the house. A branch off this drive leads along the edge of the narrow eastern boundary plantation, to a drive planted with ornamental species which joins Sandwich Road c 700m south of Dover Lodge.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING Waldershare Park (listed grade I) is a large country house built of two-coloured red bricks with stone dressings under a tiled roof. It is laid out in a double-pile plan with flanking and projecting wings. The garden front to the south-east, originally the entrance front, has a main block of nine bays, the five central bays projecting with six Corinthian pilasters. Waldershare was built for Sir Henry Furness between 1705 and 1712, probably by William Talman (1650-1719). The entrance porch on the north-west front was added in 1890 and most of the interior, together with parts of the exterior, were restored by Reginald Blomfield after a fire in 1913. The house was divided into flats during the C20.
The stable courtyard (listed grade II) lies on the north-east corner of the house. Originally a complete courtyard, now (2001) only two sides survive. It is built of red brick under a slate roof and was constructed by Talman at the same time as the main house, with alterations by Blomfield in 1913.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS Below the entrance or north-west front, a levelled area is cut into the rising ground, replacing what is shown on the Kip view (Harris 1719) as a terraced parterre. To the south-east, originally the entrance front, instead of the C18 forecourt and turnaround, a terraced lawn now gives immediately onto the park.
Immediately to the south-west of the house is a formal lawn, partially enclosed by yew hedges, within which stands an octagonal fountain basin. Beyond this the remains of a lime avenue lead to an iron screen with a pair of large, early C18 iron gates (listed grade II) providing the way into the Wilderness via a partially walled and terraced formal garden (listed grade II) dating from the early C18. During the C19 this was used as a kitchen garden at which time a painted brick garden cottage (listed grade II) was added. Two glasshouses survive at the northern end of the garden while at the southern end is a circular fountain (listed grade II) of the same period. The c 25ha Wilderness was mostly cleared and planted with larch in the 1950s, but the rides which cut through the plantation reflect the main ones shown in the Kip engraving and a scattering of mature sweet chestnuts and oaks survive. At the southern end of the west side, c 950m south-west of the mansion, is the substantial brick Belvedere (listed grade I), which enjoys views to the north and south along the western of the two valleys in the park. This building, erected in 1725, possibly to the designs of Lord Burlington, replaced the original more modest one.
PARK The park is now (2001) mostly under the plough and only a few large clumps survive, although the areas surrounding the mansion have been retained under grass. The areas best preserved are those to the north of the house and immediately to the west, where there is still a good scattering of parkland trees. The land to the north is cut through by a track, known as the Oak Avenue, which leads north to the Riding School and Kennels (listed grade II), built in 1871 on Kennel Hill. It is also crossed by the Lime Avenue which runs north from the north-east front of the house beyond the stable block and west of the Home Farm complex (listed grade II) to the public road.
The park was laid out at the beginning of the C18 although the westernmost of the two valleys was included in the 1800s. A fence of strained wire between Victorian cast-iron posts along Coldred Road forms this enlarged western boundary. To the east the park is partly enclosed by a beech boundary plantation.
KITCHEN GARDEN The brick-walled kitchen garden (listed grade II) lies in the valley bottom north of Home Farm, c 400m north-east of the house. It is no longer cultivated for the production of fruit and vegetables but is used for storage and to keep animals (2001).
J Harris, The History of Kent (1719), p 325 T Badeslade, Thirty six different views of noblemen and gentlemen's seats in the county of Kent (1750s), pl 35 E Hasted, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (1797-1801) [Facsimile edn 1972], p 190 C Greenwood, An epitome of county history ¿ vol 1, County of Kent (1838), p 422 J Newman, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent (2nd edn 1976), p 483
Maps J Andrews, A Dury and W Herbert, A Topographical Map of the County of Kent, 2" to 1 mile, 1769
OS Surveyor's drawing no 107, 1801 (British Library Maps) OS 6" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1906
Illustrations J Kip, View of Waldershare, c 1719 (in Harris 1719)
Description rewritten: April 2001 Register Inspector: EMP Edited: November 2003
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 1173
Legacy System: Parks and Gardens
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.
End of official listing