A park laid out by Sir William St Quintin to a design by Lancelot Brown during the 1770s which incorporated earlier C18 landscape features, possibly designed by Charles Bridgeman, and a garden also possibly designed by Bridgeman which was completely remodelled in the late C18/early C19 and in the early C20.
The Manor of Scampston was acquired by the Hustler family in the early C17 and they sold it to Sir William St Quintin of Harpham (third baronet) in the early C18. Sir William purchased additional land in the area during the period 1727-31, perhaps in advance of commissioning designs for the garden and park. The diversion of the main York to Scarborough road (A64) proposed in 1736 was probably part of a plan for the improvement or creation of a park.
A series of undated paintings by William Marlow show views of the Hall, park and various structures (Harris 1979). Estate accounts suggest that some of them were paid for in 1763 and 1764 but others are later in date and may have been painted in the 1770s. Another series of undated paintings by Francis Nicholson (ibid) were probably commissioned to show aspects of the remodelling of the landscape by Brown and dates of c 1783 and c 1790 have been suggested for them (Turnbull 1992). There are a number of maps and plans showing the Hall and park. It is shown on small-scale county maps of 1720 and 1770, and larger-scale plans include one by D Luccock of 1766 with later alterations, and a map of 1829 by Edward Page.
The site remained in the family, passing through the female line, and is in private ownership (1998).
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Scampston Park lies immediately east and south of the village of Scampston, c 6km north-east of Malton, in an area which is rural and agricultural. The c 170ha site is on level land at the southern edge of the Vale of Pickering. The A64 cuts through the site and runs north-east/ south-west across it dividing the park into two unequal parts, while Sands Lane runs across the west corner of the park giving access to the village of Scampston from Rillington. The east boundary is formed by Sandy Lane and by Top Avenue and Rock House Plantation. Town Street in Scampston village and plantations sheltering The Plain form the north and north-west boundary. To the south-west the boundary is formed by the A64 and by Wintringham Road running south from the A64 to Scampston Mill Farm.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
There are three main entrances. On the south side of the site there is an entrance with a lodge and gates on the A64 from which a drive runs north-east to the Hall. On the north-west side of the site there is a pair of stone gate piers (listed grade II) and gates off Town Street in Scampston, shown in a painting of c 1790 by Francis Nicholson, from which a drive leads east to the rear (north side) of the Hall and stable yard. An entrance on the east side of the park from the A64 leads to a drive running through a belt of woodland called Top Avenue to a set of simple stone gate piers c 600m east of the Hall, from which point the drive runs north-west as a lime avenue and continues westwards to the rear (north) side of the Hall as an avenue called Chain Avenue. This approach and the avenue are shown on the 1829 map while the 1766 map shows it without the avenue.
Scampston Hall (listed grade II*) lies towards the centre of the north side of the site. It originated probably in the late C17 when William Hustler built a house for himself, possibly on the site of a medieval manor house, and it was altered in the late C18 for Sir William Thomas St Quintin, fifth and last baronet. Thomas Leverton remodelled it in 1801 for William Thomas St Quintin. The garden (south) front has a central semicircular bay capped by a lead dome and the entrance (west) front has a similar balustraded bay without a dome which has a central entrance flanked by detached Tuscan columns. The Hall is in use as a private residence (1998).
Some 40m north-east of the Hall there is a carriage house, stables and ancillary buildings (late C18 and C19, all listed grade II) ranged around a yard entered through a gateway with octagonal piers and ironwork gates.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The gardens are on the south and east sides of the Hall and they are divided from the park on the south side by iron railings which are a late C20 replica of those shown in C19 drawings (reproduced in Elizabeth Banks Assocs 1992). Some 40m south-east of the Hall there is a late C19 walk-in rock and water garden, probably built by Backhouse of York for William Herbert St Quintin who succeeded to the estate in 1876. There are views to the south over the park with glimpses of the lakes and a cascade (see below) and of Scampston Bridge (mid C18, listed grade II).
The east side of the garden is bounded by Lower Lake, the northernmost of a chain of lakes running across the park. At its north end, c 100m north-east of the Hall, the Palladian Bridge (listed grade II*) was designed by Lancelot Brown (1716-83) or possibly by his assistant Henry Holland c 1775. The bridge has three arches carrying a pavilion with paired Ionic columns and cannot be seen from the Hall but is prominent in views from the park and parts of the garden. A ruinous Pump House (dated 1778, listed grade II) stands in the lawns c 80m east of the Hall. A painting of the south side of the Hall by Francis Nicholson of c 1790 shows lawns sweeping up to a terrace with railings running along the south front of the building.
Three drawings by Charles Bridgeman (d 1738) of c 1731 show a design for a garden on the south side of the Hall. A formal layout is shown with a central lawn flanked by plantations of trees or shrubs and a T-shaped canal aligned with the south front of the Hall. A canal on the east side of the garden approximates with the position of Lower Lake. It is not known if the design was executed, but it has been shown that it corresponds with the landform and dimensions of the site (Elizabeth Banks Assocs 1992). The presence of a large culvert running along the centre line of the proposed T-shaped canal and references in estate records to infilling a canal in c 1758 add some weight to the suggestion that the design was wholly or partially implemented.
The park is divided by three lakes which run north/south and are fed by a stream which was diverted to feed Scampston Mill (outside the registered area) at the south end of the site. The southernmost lake called Swan Beck or High Fish Pond is contained by a dam hidden by Scampston Bridge. On the north side of the bridge The Lake, which is of serpentine shape with an island, is divided from Lower Lake by a cascade designed by Brown which is mentioned in a letter to Brown of 1773 in which Sir William writes 'I have received the favour of your letter with the plan inclosed for the cascade which I like very much'. Estate accounts record payments for stone for the cascade in 1774. The structure collapsed in the mid C20 and was rebuilt in modern materials. A late C18 or early C19 icehouse (listed grade II) lies c 5m east of the cascade.
Lower Lake is contained by a dam concealed by the Palladian Bridge and water flows over a cascade on the north side of the Bridge into a reflecting pool with stone edging. There are views from the park of the Hall across the water, and of the Palladian Bridge at the top of Lower Lake.
Correspondence between Sir William St Quintin (fifth baronet) and Lancelot Brown mentions altering the outline of The Lake and making an island 'according to your plan' in 1773. It is not known when the lakes were created but they are shown in some of the paintings by William Marlow. It is possible that they originated in the 1730s, perhaps as a formal canal, and that Brown advised on changing the shape. If Bridgeman's plan for the garden was executed, Lower Lake could have been extant as a narrow canal. It has been suggested that the lakes may have been created in the 1750s on Brown's recommendations and that he returned in the 1770s to complete and modify the work (Elizabeth Banks Assocs 1992). Warburton's county map of 1720 shows the Hall at Scampston but there is no park pale marked and the lakes are not evident; Luccock's 1766 map shows the lakes but they seem to have been superimposed on the original map. The 1829 map shows the lakes and planting much as they are today but the exact date and sequence of alterations which led to the landscape as shown on the 1829 map remains obscure.
The land west of the lakes is largely in use as pasture and there are scattered mature trees in an area called The Plain. To the east of the lakes the land is mostly under arable cultivation and within fields c 380m south-east of the Hall there is a horse barn (C18 with C19 or C20 alterations, listed grade II). The line of the A64 is concealed by a bank and sunk fence constructed c 1772 to proposals by Brown and the road does not intrude into views across the park, though Scampston Bridge, with three rusticated arches and a balustraded parapet, is clearly visible from various points within the park and south garden. The edges of the park are sheltered by plantations which run around most of the perimeter apart from areas at the south end of the site. A plan by Charles Bridgeman of c 1730 shows a block of woodland east of the Hall in the approximate position of Rock House Plantation with a polygonal central clearing and sinuous paths leading through it. Other plantations with rondpoints and sinuous paths are shown further to the south-east and to the south-west. It is not known if Bridgeman's proposals were executed and the woodland is not shown on Luccock's 1766 map which shows woodland at the south-east corner of the park with a system of clearings connected by straight rides. The 1829 map shows shelter belts around the park but there is no sign of clearings and rides within them.
In the south-east corner of the park, which is called the Deer Park, Deer Park Lodge (listed grade II*) has a castellated gothick northern facade and lies c 1.3km south-east of the Hall. The building probably dates from c 1767 when estate accounts mention works connected with it, and John Carr, who designed a similar structure at Sledmere (qv), may have been the designer. It is shown in paintings by William Marlow of mid C18 date and by Nicholson c 1790 when it was limewashed. Views of it from the south garden and park have been partially obscured by trees and the removal of the limewash has rendered it less visible within the landscape.
The kitchen garden lies c 120m north of the Hall and consists of a brick-walled enclosure with a conservatory, probably of early C20 date, against the inner north wall. A doorway in the centre of the south wall leads to a grass path bordered by flower beds which runs north to the conservatory. A kitchen garden is shown on the Bridgeman plan on the east side of the Hall, but it is not known if this was executed. The garden is shown in its present position on the 1766 map and glasshouses are shown on the 1829 plan.
Country Life, 115 (1 April 1954), pp 946-9; (8 April 1954), pp 1034-8
D Stroud, Capability Brown (1975), pp 173-5, 238
P Willis, Charles Bridgeman (1977), p 182
J Harris, The Artist and the Country House (1979), p 287
D Neave and D Turnbull, Landscaped Parks and Gardens of East Yorkshire (1992), pp 62-4
Scampston Park, (Elizabeth Banks Associates 1992), Vol 1, Landscape Restoration Plan;
Vol 2, History of the Gardens and the Park at Scampston Hall, (D Turnbull)
[all in Elizabeth Banks Associates 1992]
J Warburton, County Map, 1720
C Bridgeman, 3 Plans for gardens and park at Scampston Hall, c 1731
D. Luccock, Map of Scampston village and estate, 1766
T Jefferys, County Map, 1771
E Page, Map of Scampston village and estate, 1829
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1854
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1891
Elizabeth Banks Associates (1992) report contains details of archival holdings.
Description written: November 1998
Amended: March 1999
Register Inspector: CEH
Edited: October 1999