A garden of C16 origin, extended and altered in the mid C18 and with C19 additions and a C19 park.
The manor of Glynde came into the Waleys family in the early C13, having previously formed part of the Archbishop of Canterbury's manor of South Malling. Glynde passed to the Morley family, the Waleys' descendants through marriage, in the C15 and the present house was built by William Morley in 1568-9. Soon after the death of Colonel Harbert Morley, the noted Parliamentarian, Glynde Place passed, again by marriage, to the Trevor family. The house and estate were improved by Richard Trevor who became Bishop of Durham in 1752 but made Glynde his principal home. He was succeeded by his elder brother who took the surname of Hampden on inheriting that family's estates. He was created Viscount Hampden in 1776. On the death of the third Viscount in 1824, Glynde was bequeathed through his mother's link with the Trevor family to General Henry Otway Brand. His son was created Viscount Hampden of Glynde. The estate remained in the Brand family and is still in private ownership (1998).
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Glynde Place lies at the northern end of Glynde village, c 0.5km north of the main A272 Lewes to Eastbourne road and 2.5km south of Ringmer village. The 34ha site comprises c 4ha of detached and terraced gardens and c 30ha of parkland.
The minor road which runs northwards from Glynde to Ringmer forms the site's western boundary. The road appears to have been moved c 20m westwards in the mid C18 as part of the improvements to the house and grounds (Thomas Attree map, 1717). To the south, a lane giving access to adjacent farm buildings skirts the boundary while to the north and the east, the parkland merges into a surrounding landscape of farmland and small woods.
The majority of the parkland occupies relatively level ground to the north and east. The gardens on the west side of the site and the southern part of the parkland lie on rising ground which forms the lower slopes of Mount Caburn, an outlier of the South Downs to the west. South of the site boundary, the land drops away to the valley of Glynde Reach (a channel flowing westwards into the River Ouse). There are extensive views southwards over the valley to the South Downs beyond.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance to Glynde Place is at the south-west corner of the site, off the road north from Glynde village. The drive enters between stone-capped brick gate piers, passes between massive flanking yew hedges and then beneath the central, pedimented arch of the stable block. Some 40m east beyond the stables, the drive passes through the gateway in the dressed stone and flint-screen garden wall (built 1755-6, listed, with gate piers, grade II*) which extends southwards from the eastern elevation of the house. The gate piers are surmounted by the Trevor wyverns (John Cheere 1759 (Nairn and Pevsner 1965)).
The drive turns immediately northwards and runs 50m along a broad, raised terrace, separated from the park on the lower, east side by a grass bank and a flint ha-ha wall. The ha-ha was built in the C19 to replace a sunken fence (shown in late C18 and early C19 prints of Glynde). The east front of the house opens onto a gravelled forecourt, supported by brick terrace walls and enclosed at the north end from the gardens beyond by balustrades. Yew clumps (several replanted in the mid 1990s) frame the view east over the park.
The main entrance to the house as built in 1568(9 was on the west front (Attree map, 1717). The establishment of the east front as the entrance front occurred in association with the newly created grand entrance through the stable block in 1752.
Glynde Place (listed grade I) lies in the extreme south-west corner of the site on a raised terrace, overlooking the park to the north-east and south-east. The present house, built by William Morley in 1568-9, forms a complete courtyard of two storeys, attic and basement. There are no visible remains of the earlier Manor which this replaced. In 1752, Richard Trevor employed John Morris of Lewes to alter and refurbish the house and to build the stable block (1753-6, listed grade I) immediately south of the house and at right-angles to it. An office range and granary wing between the house and stables, of the same period, completes the complex of domestic buildings.
Some 20m south of the stable block, and visually part of the ensemble containing the house, is St Mary's church (listed grade II). Its front elevation of knapped flint, with a porch and pediment of Portland stone, faces the road. The church was probably designed for Richard Trevor by Sir Thomas Robinson and was built in 1763.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The gardens lie to the north and west of the house. From the eastern, entrance forecourt a wide grass walk extends northwards, giving access by two flights of stone steps in the bank to the principal terrace on the north front of the house. This terrace extends c 100m northwards; its southern half is laid to lawn which is enclosed by yew hedges on the west and north sides. In the centre of the lawn a circular stone pool, built in 1986, is framed by further inner sections of yew hedge. The northern half of the terrace beyond the yew hedge is laid to lawn with several informal groups of trees and shrubs.
The present terracing extends further north than that shown on Attree's map of 1717 and would appear to be part of Bishop Trevor's improvements in the 1750s and 1760s (estate accounts of Richard Trevor, 1758, Glynde Place Archive). It is shown on the Tithe map of 1839 planted with trees in quincunx patterns. Attree's map of 1717 shows the early C18 layout of the gardens consisting of a square garden north of the house, possibly laid out as a bowling green and with a pavilion in the north-east corner. The map also suggests that the gardens or pleasure grounds extended further east into the park at that time. The present simple layout of yew hedging on the principal terrace dates from c 1978. It replaces a more complex design of the late 1880s or early 1900s as shown in outline on the OS 25" edition published in 1911 and on photographs in Country Life of 1955.
The north end of the terrace is terminated by a transverse avenue of limes with a central walk leading eastwards out into the park. The ha-ha wall defining the eastern edge of the terrace ends at this point. A walk leads northwards beyond the end of the terrace through a narrow belt of woodland to the northern boundary of the site. A similar feature is shown on all maps since Attree's of 1717, on which the walk is referred to as 'The Old Walk'.
West of the principal terrace the ground rises in a steep bank above which, parallel to the road, runs a broad grassed walk lined with an avenue of beech trees. Attree's map shows formal lines of trees here but the present avenue, replanted in 1994 after storm damage in 1987, seems to be an early C19 feature. Field evidence from ring-counts indicates a planting date between 1800 and 1810 and a photograph of 1883 (Glynde Place Archive) shows the avenue as mature. South of the terrace and the beech avenue, the west front of the house opens onto a small rectangular lawn surrounded by mixed borders. The lawn is bisected by a flagged path leading to a door in the west front through which the interior courtyard is reached. The courtyard is laid to lawn with flagged paths and perimeter shrubs.
The park extends to the north-east, east and south-east of the gardens and there are fine views of it from the terraces. The open areas are under pasture, with the late C19 cricket ground, its pavilion screened by a large clump of holm oak, laid out towards the northern boundary of the park. At present (1990s), the park otherwise contains only a few individual and clumps of trees except at the southern end on the higher ground where there is a copse or small wood which contains some recent (1990s) replanting. A group of limes, c 50m east of the avenue at the northern end of the principal terrace, may have formed part of a continuation of the avenue eastwards into the park.
The park did not exist in 1717; Attree's map of that date shows a pattern of four or five fields with their boundaries lined with regularly spaced trees. The fields appear to have been thrown together to form the park by the date of the Tithe map in 1838 although the tree pattern still reflects its origin as marking field boundaries. Parkland planting of clumps and individual trees had been established by the date of the OS 1st edition map (surveyed 1873-5). The park would therefore appear to be of mid C19 origin. Many parkland trees have been lost through Dutch elm disease and in the storm of 1987.
The kitchen garden, built in 1755-6 as part of Bishop Trevor's improvements (Glynde Place Archive), lies on the west side of the road north from Glynde and opposite the main entrance to the house. It is rectangular in plan, covers nearly 1ha in area and is surrounded by high red-brick walls with a further wall subdividing it internally. It is at present (1990s) being restored for use as a vegetable and nursery garden.
The Gardeners' Chronicle, (!0 July 1886), pp 37-8
Country Life, 22 (7 September 1907), pp 342-5; 117 (14 April 1955), pp 978-81; (21 April 1955), pp 1040-3; (28 April 1955), pp 1104-7
I Nairn and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex (1965), pp 509-10
J Meehan, Some notes on the ring-counts taken at Glynde, 1988 [copy on EH file]
Garden History 17, no 2 (1989), p 177
A Sclater, Glynde Place, East Sussex (nd) [copy on EH file]
Thomas Attree, a map and description, 1717 (GLY 3111), (East Sussex Record Office)
William Figg, Tithe map for Glynde parish, 1838 (East Sussex Record Office)
C & J Greenwood, A map of the County of Sussex ..., 1" to 1 mile, surveyed 1823(4
OS Old Series, 1" to 1 mile, surveyed 1793-6, published 1813
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1873-5
2nd edition published 1899
3rd edition published 1911
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1873-5
2nd edition published 1899
3rd edition published 1910
The Glynde Place Archive is held at East Sussex Record Office. An index is published in : Richard Dell, Glynde Place Archive (East Sussex Record Office 1964).
Description written: July 1998
Register Inspector: VCH
Edited: March 2000