Mid C19 terraced gardens which provide the setting for a country house, surrounded by parkland which was enlarged in the 1720s and reworked in the 1770s.
When Richard Arundel, Surveyor General to the King's Works, inherited the Allerton estate in 1720, he built a new house and enlarged the park. Viscount Galway, the last of the Mauleverer/Arundel line, inherited in 1772 and then, in 1786, the estate was bought by Prince Frederick, Duke of York. After three years he sold it on to Colonel Thornton who changed its name to Thornville Royal.
Charles Philip, sixteenth Lord Stourton, purchased the estate in 1805 and was responsible for further alterations to the main house, and the building of the chapel. A massive remodelling of the house was subsequently carried out by George Martin for Charles, nineteenth Baron of Stourton to whom the property passed in 1846. The work, started in 1848 and largely completed by 1851, encased the Georgian mansion in a neo Jacobean shell, and in so doing, doubled its size. During the First World War the house was used as a hospital and, following the death of Lord Stourton in 1965, it was again used for a variety of institutional purposes. It returned to private use in 1982.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Allerton Park lies 6km east of Knaresborough at the west edge of the village of Allerton Mauleverer. The 205ha park is bounded to the south by New Road, and to the north by Shepherd's Wood Gate, with the old Great North Road (now A168) forming a straight boundary down the west side of the park on the far side of the estate wall. The setting is largely rural, with the A1(M) trunk road adjacent to the west.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The west drive forms a continuation of York Road on the far side of the A1(M). It enters the estate off the A168 between stone piers supporting wrought-iron gates (late C18/early C19, listed grade II) at the late C18/early C19 West Lodge (listed grade II), a single-storey cottage orné. From here the drive runs eastwards, past Oak Plump to the south, between a pair of wrought-iron gates (late C19, listed grade II) standing 25m south-west of the mansion to a carriage sweep on the south-west front. Here it meets the primary, south drive (reinstated 1987), which also approaches the carriage sweep via a pair of gates (late C19, listed grade II), having led down a lime avenue from the mid C19 South Lodge. This building, like the West Lodge, is built as a cottage orné.
Leading off the A168 at a point a little further to the north of West Lodge, is the North Entrance. From here a drive, Temple Road, crosses the Near Park to the stable block and outbuildings which stand to the east of the mansion. The main north drive is no longer extant. It entered at Shepherd's Wood Gate, crossed Far Park then Deer Park, ran between High Fish Pond and Middle Fish Pond, then traversed Near Park to reach the stables (OS 1907).
Allerton Park mansion (C18, remodelled George Martin 1848-51, listed grade I) stands to the west of the village of Allerton Mauleverer, on a promontory in the eastern section of its park. From the house views extend across the park to the north-west and, from the south front, over the countryside to the south-west. The austere Chapel of St Mary (c 1807, listed grade II*) stands attached to the south-east elevation of the mansion and is built of brown and cream brick in Gothick style.
The stuccoed stable block (late C18, converted to domestic accommodation, listed grade II) stands c 100m east of the mansion and encloses a square courtyard, this being entered via the south range from the south drive. A range of outbuildings (listed grade II) stands nearby.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
To the north of the house, stone garden terraces (G Martin c 1845, listed grade II) constructed as part of the mid C19 improvements form the foreground to a view over the crenellations of the retaining garden wall, down to the southernmost of the lakes, the Lower Fish Pond. In the gardens stands an eleven-bay long, rusticated timber summerhouse. Of Georgian origin, this was redesigned in 1852 by B Banks of London (listed grade II) and is attached to a brick wall as a lean-to structure. A stone ha-ha separates the gardens from the park to the north, an underpass situated c 150m north-east of the mansion leading to the strip of pleasure grounds which links them to the lake. This ornamental planting continues on the far bank, 450m north-east of the mansion, as Jupiter's Coppice.
The park was described by John Bigland in 1812 as 'charmingly picturesque, presenting a great variety of hills, dales and groves, delightfully interspersed' (Evans 1812). During the C20, the Near and Deer Parks, once well wooded, have lost much of their plantings. The northern Far Park is now (late C20) intensively farmed and all the trees within it have been felled; some quarrying has encroached into the northern end. A caravan park has been placed within a stand of conifers, Coronation Plantation, in the north-east corner of Smithy Field, at the southern end of the park.
A series of lakes, Lower Fish Pond, Middle Fish Pond, and High Fish Pond, form a chain running from north-west to south-east across the site, dividing Near Park from Far Park. The Lower Fish Pond was developed from a pre C18 square pond, possibly medieval in origin, which was fed by the top, High Pond. The stream which linked the two had been widened by the 1770s to form the Middle Fish Pond (map, c 1770), divided in half by a dam which has recently (late C20) been replaced by a large concrete sluice. The Lower Fish Pond was extended to nearly its present form in the late C18 or early C19, the existing square island, with its rectangular pool, being retained as a feature. After 1845, the north shore was remodelled to create a second island on which stand the remains of a stone boathouse (late C18/early C19, listed grade II). The round-headed arched entrance (late C18/early C19, listed grade II) is all that is left of a stone boathouse which stood on the southern bank of the pond near a footbridge across its southern arm.
To the west of the Lower Fish Pond, 250m north of the mansion in Near Park, lies a stone and brick icehouse (early C19, listed grade II). Like the three-arched stone bridge (late C18/early C19, listed grade II) between Middle and Lower Fish Ponds, and the brick and stone feature known as Lady's Cave or Picnic Bower (late C18/early C19, listed grade II), which stands to the north of the Middle Fish Pond, it is presumably part of a late C18/early C19 landscaping phase.
On a knoll in the Near Park, north-west of the house, stands the Temple of Victory (late C18, repaired 1992, listed grade II*), attributed to James Paine, from where there are extensive views over the parkland and surrounding countryside. It is shown on the map of c 1770 and presumably dates from around this time.
When he purchased the estate in 1805, the sixteenth Lord Stourton called it 'Stourton', but it is unlikely that this was the 'Stourton' for works at which Lancelot Brown submitted a bill of £69 10s in the early 1780s (Stroud 1975). It is, however, just possible that Charles had been renting the property at this date with a view to later purchase, and had called in Brown to look at the grounds.
The c 3ha, rectangular brick-walled kitchen garden (c 1770, listed grade II), and accompanying Gardener's Cottage, are situated in the south-west corner of the estate. The east wall has a gateway with stone gate piers, and the north wall has two ranges of C19 lean-to storage sheds and potting sheds attached to its outer face.
J Evans, The Beauties of England and Wales (1812)
F O Morris, Series of Picturesque Views 2, (1866-80), p 27
C Stourton, The History of the Noble House of Stourton (1899)
D Stroud, Capability Brown (1975), pp 198-9
Country Life, no 52 (24 December 1987), pp 48-52
Allerton Park: Request for Upgrading, (Gerald Arthur Rolph Foundation for Historic Preservation and Education early 1990s) [copy on EH file]
A map surveyed for Hon Richard Arundel... , c 1734 (Leeds City Archive)
Estate map, early C18 (Rolph Foundation collection)
Estate map, c 1770 (Leeds City Archive)
Estate map, 1834 (Leeds City Archive)
Estate map, 1845-50 (Leeds City Archive)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1845
2nd edition revised 1907
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1892
2nd edition published 1909
Description rewritten: January 2000
Register Inspector: SR
Edited: October 2004