Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1000476
Date first listed: 30-Aug-1987
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Tyringham and Filgrave
National Grid Reference: SP 85706 46806
A late C18 landscape park, probably laid out by Humphry Repton c 1793, surrounding a late C18 country house by Sir John Soane, with early C20 formal gardens by C F Rees, c 1910, and Edwin Lutyens, 1924-8. John Haverfield also advised on the layout when he visited with Soane in 1793.
Tyringham manor was held by the Tyringham family throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, until it was bought by Edward Backwell c 1670. It remained in the Backwell family, passing, through his marriage with Elizabeth Backwell in 1778, to William Praed, banker and first chairman of the Grand Junction Canal Company. Praed (d 1833) was responsible for commissioning the architect Sir John Soane to rebuild the old manor house of the Tyringhams, described in 1782 in Pennant's Journey from Chester to London as 'neglected ... but not wholly unfurnished', together with the stables, bridge over the River Great Ouse and gateway. Soane was accompanied on several visits to Tyringham during 1793 by the landscape gardener John Haverfield (1744-1820), who advised on the siting of the bridge, amongst other things (B Clayton pers comm, 1998). Praed also commissioned Humphry Repton (1752(1818) c 1793 to landscape the park, although if a Red Book was indeed produced for Tyringham, its whereabouts is unknown. The estate remained in the Praed family until it was bought c 1903 by F A Konig, a Jewish Theosophist and banker from Silesia, and his French wife. Konig employed the Berlin architect Ernst Eberhard von Ihne to remodel the house, commissioning Charles F Rees, c 1911, to provide the formal forecourt and garden elements including the Rose Garden. Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) was called in from 1924 to 1928, and designed the great axial garden on the north-west front, the commission being contemporary with his scheme for New Delhi. The house and gardens have been used as a health clinic since 1967.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Tyringham lies in rural north Buckinghamshire, 3km north-west of Newport Pagnell, and lkm north-east of the adjacent Gayhurst estate (qv), in the low-lying, gently undulating valley of the River Great Ouse. The 95ha site is bounded to the south by the B526 from Newport Pagnell, and on the other sides by agricultural land, bisected from north to south by the lane from the B526 to the hamlet of Filgrave 1km to the north-east, and from east to west by the River Great Ouse which lies towards the south boundary. The setting is largely agricultural, with the ornamental parkland of the Gayhurst estate, and Gayhurst village, to the south-west.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main approach is from the south, off the B526, via the Filgrave lane which leads under Soane's austere stone gateway (1794, listed grade I), an entrance screen with an archway and flanking lodges set back 30m off the road. The lane runs north from the gateway, straight for 100m, to cross Soane's simple stone bridge (1793, listed grade I; scheduled ancient monument) consisting of a single, elegant arch, before curving north-east through the park, past the church, forming the boundary between the inner (west) and outer (east) sections of the park. Some 50m north of the bridge the drive diverges from the lane, at a point marked by iron gates and piers. Flanked by a lime avenue and bounded by iron fencing dividing it from the parkland beyond, the drive continues the straight line of the lane northwards, curving west 150m south-east of the house towards the main, south-east front of the house. From the drive there are glimpses of the house and church, together with the park and river to the west and south-west. Returning south along this part of the drive, the top of the gateway arch is just visible, framed by the parapets and surface of the bridge, being revealed completely at the top of the bridge. The drive arrives at the gravel forecourt (Rees 1911) with its central oval lawn and stone fountain with a bronze sculpture (McMillan 1928, listed grade II) at its centre. The forecourt is entered on the north-east side through iron railings, gates and piers flanked by two low, stone pillboxes (Rees 1909, listed grade II), mirrored at the opposite side of the forecourt by a further pair of pillboxes (Rees 1909, listed grade II). Stone balustrading edges the south-east and south-west boundaries, linking them with the house and pillboxes (Rees 1909, listed grade II). A spur north off the drive close to the forecourt, Back Drive, runs north-east, past the stables and red-brick estate houses (Rees c 1910), around the walled garden, to emerge on the Filgrave lane, flanked by banded brick gate piers and wooden gates 250m north-east of the house.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING Tyringham Hall (Soane 1793-7, listed grade I) lies near the centre of the site, rebuilt near the site of the old manor house during a period of considerable building activity on the estate. Soane's compact, rectangular, stone house, with single-storey service wing attached to the north-east, was greatly embellished by Konig's Austrian architect, von Ihne, c 1907-9, who added the prominent copper dome above the south-east, entrance front. The entrance front has views south-east and south across the park towards the church, bridge and gateway. The north-west, garden front overlooks Lutyens' formal garden (1924-8) with views across the park, agricultural land and the river beyond, culminating in a view of distant hills.
The rectangular, stone stable block (Soane 1793, listed grade I) lies 75m north-east of the house, surrounding a cobbled courtyard entered through a pedimented carriage arch on the south-west side, facing the service wing of the house. The rear, north-east wall forms one of the walls of the seven-sided kitchen garden. Tyringham parish church (medieval, rebuilt E J Tarver 1871, listed grade II) lies 400m south-east of the house, adjacent to the Filgrave lane, surrounded by a small churchyard with mature trees on the boundaries. It is visible in views from the park, drive and house.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS Formal gardens flank the house on the south-west and north-west fronts, together with the formal forecourt. The Rose Garden lies adjacent to the south-west front, separated from it by a broad gravel path leading from the forecourt to the north-west garden. It consists of a formal, sunken, rectangular lawn, surrounded by clipped yew hedges, with an apsidal end and two sets of iron gates (early C20, listed grade II) leading down into the park. Several sets of shallow stone steps connected by low, rubble-stone walls (early C20, listed grade II) define the shape of the design, and parchmarks in the central lawn reveal a former pattern of formal beds. Adjacent to the north of the Rose Garden is a further compartment containing conifers and clipped hedges, bounded to the north by a curved, open area of lawn, which also formerly contained flower beds (OS 1926), this being separated from the park by a stone ha-ha with a clipped yew hedge above it. These features are believed to have been designed by Rees, and modified by Lutyens (Pevsner and Williamson 1994; G Bell pers comm, May 1997).
Lutyens' grand axial design stretches away from the north-west front of the house. Steps lead down from the garden front to a central gravel path between two rectangular panels of lawn. A stone balustrade and semicircular steps separate this from a 70m long x 18m wide rectangular swimming pool flanked on either side by four clipped yew blocks backing flower beds facing the pool. Two imposing, stone, domed pavilions flank the north-west end of the pool: the larger one, to the north, is the Temple of Music (Lutyens 1926, listed grade II*), designed as a music room and chapel; south of the pool, the slightly smaller Bathing Pavilion (Lutyens 1926, listed grade II*) almost matches the Temple of Music, but without nave and chancel sections, and was used as a changing room. Both contain a large central space with views of the garden and park from the large windows in each wall. Beyond the north-west edge of the pool, furthest from the house, is a 3m diameter circular pool, flanked by two free-standing Doric columns (Lutyens 1926, listed grade II) topped by lead leopards with open mouths which pour warm water into the pool. Beyond the circular pool, leading to the edge of the park, a further 36m long x 19m wide rectangular pool has been converted into a sunken tennis court. From here the view north-west looks across the park towards open countryside beyond. Lutyens planted a double elm avenue (now gone) which continued the width of the garden features into the park and beyond towards the distant hillside (OS 1926). The gardens continue north at right angles to this axial feature, reached from the circular pool past the Music Temple, along a straight grass path to the north between three sets of imposing, square, stone gate piers (early C20, listed grade II). The north garden is of less formal design, largely laid to lawn with scattered trees, and clipped hedges enclosing several grass compartments. At the north-east end of the garden front lies a sunken garden and loggia (Rees 1909, listed grade II). A large square pool, surrounded by stone balustrades and steps down to the paved path around the water, is overlooked to the north by the loggia; a colonnade of four Doric columns supporting oak joists backed by a stone wall with a central apse and three tall, arched windows. Stone steps along the width of the loggia, flanked by balustrades, lead down to a gravel rectangle, bounded by balustrades, separating the loggia from the pool. From here the two pavilions, and columns between, dominate the view north-west, seen across a flat lawn defined by clipped yew hedges, and backed by the trees of The Wilderness beyond. North of the loggia, set in lawn, is a group of four large, stone Corinthian capitals (George Sampson, listed grade II) within a circular kerb inscribed 'From Sampson's Pay Hall, Bank of England erected 1732-4, demolished 1929'.
North-east of the house, partly surrounding the walled garden, is an area of woodland known as The Shrubs, containing various paths and ornamental trees and shrubs, which may have been part of Repton's pleasure grounds, and leading north from this Long Plantation, along the west side of the northern section of the Filgrave lane.
PARK The park surrounds the house and garden, except to the north-east, and is divided into two main sections: the inner section surrounding the house, which is divided from the garden by a ha-ha (Soane 1793-7), in several sections, and the outer section to the east of the Filgrave lane and south of the river. The northern part of the inner section (across which ran Lutyens' avenue, planted c 1925) is arable, with some scattered trees, bounded on the west by a deep ditch and The Wilderness, possibly laid out by Repton but now planted with a conifer plantation. The south and east parts of the inner park are pasture planted with park trees in singles and clumps, with some exotics. This part of the park enjoys views east towards Soane's gateway and bridge spanning the river, across the avenue to the church over the river, and south-west to the Gayhurst parkland and Bathhouse beyond. An avenue planted in the park lines the Filgrave lane south-west of the church. The outer park contains the church to the east, and its surrounding small churchyard planted with mature ornamental trees. The outer park contains few trees, except for those on the somewhat overgrown islands at the west end of the river and the belt running along the B526, resulting in more open views of the river, house, park buildings and wider landscape.
Before Lutyens' work of the 1920s, Soane's ha-ha virtually encircled the house, to the south-east, south-west and north-west. Parts of this survive, particularly south-west of the house, the remainder having been destroyed when Lutyens' design was implemented (OS 1900).
KITCHEN GARDEN The seven-sided, 1ha, brick-walled kitchen garden (Soane 1793-7), now (1997) unused and laid to rough grass, lies 100m north-east of the house, adjacent to the stable courtyard which forms its south-west wall. The north-west wall is formed by the White House, the gardener's house, flanked by connected low stone ranges (c 1793, listed grade II), while a further range of bothies connects this side with the stable block further south. The garden is bisected by a brick wall running from south-west to north-east across its middle.
T Pennant, The Journey from Chester to London (1782) O Ratcliff, Views of Olney and District (1906) Country Life, 42 (29 December 1917), p 628; 65 (25 May 1929), pp 740-6; (1 June 1929), pp 780-6 Architectural Review, 65 (February 1929), pp 56-64 J Brown, Gardens of a golden afternoon (1982), pp 140-1 G Carter et al, Humphry Repton (1988), p 149 D Ottewill, The Edwardian Garden (1989), pp 196-8 N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire (1994), pp 703-6
Maps Tithe map for Tyringham parish, 1838 (Buckinghamshire Record Office)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1885 2nd edition published 1900 3rd edition published 1926 OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1881-2 2nd edition published 1900
Description written: 1997 Amended: April 1999 Register Inspector: SR Edited: September 2000
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 1447
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