Remains of an early C17 garden surrounding a manor house, restored in the early C20 by Harold Brakspear and extended in the late C20.
Hazelbury Manor, formerly Hazelbury House, dates from the C14 when it belonged to the Croke family. The main phases of its development took place in the late C15, late C16, and mid C17. This last period of building was carried out by the Speke family who owned the estate from 1613 to 1682. A survey of Hazelbury Manor of 1626 by Francis Allen shows the manor and its outbuildings situated within an enclosed area, surrounded by 'The Northe Ground', 'The Bott Gro', 'The Uppa Grownd' and 'Ortcha'.
Having been used as a farm for around two centuries, the estate was bought in 1919 by George J Kidston. From 1920 to 1925 he extensively restored and extended the estate, including the garden, using Harold Brakspear as architect. From 1943 to 1971 Hazelbury Manor served as a girls' school, and then in 1973 returned to private ownership. In the late C20 various new features were introduced in the garden, which was further extended to the north and south-west by the then owner (CL 1991).
Hazelbury Manor remains (2000) in private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Hazelbury Manor, a site of c 2.75ha, occupies a shallow depression to the east of the village of Box and is surrounded by farmland.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main approach to the site is from the south-east, via a 600m long straight drive, lined on either side by a hedge of mainly mixed species, from the village of Chapel Plaister. The drive leads down to a pair of C17 gate piers with attached coach house (listed grade II) situated c 90m south-east of the Manor. The site can also be approached via a drive to the east of the site (outside the area here registered) leading off Bradford Road (the old London to Bath Road). To the south-west the site can be approached by a small track (outside the area here registered) leading off Wyres Lane on to the West Drive (late C20), which approaches the site from the direction of Box village.
Hazelbury Manor (listed grade I) has a courtyard plan and is situated in the north-west corner of the site. The south front contains a C15 Great Hall, marked by a large canted bay and a two-storey entrance porch, both reconstructed by Brakspear in 1920-5. They are flanked to the east by an early C16 two-storey ashlar gable and to the west by a paired gable range with a large external chimney stack. The west front, mostly reconstructed in 1920-5 by Brakspear, has five gables with windows overlooking the garden. The north front dates entirely from 1920-5 and has four gables; in the north-east corner is a late C20 extension housing an indoor swimming pool. The east front, mainly early C16 in date, has an attached service range of 1920-5 which gives access to an early C17 Dower House built for the Speke family.
To the south-west of the Manor is a late C17 stable range (listed grade II), and to its south-east a granary and cartshed range of similar date (listed grade II).
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The Manor is surrounded to the south, east, and west by a series of walled garden spaces, initially laid out as part of the early C17 alterations carried out under the ownership of the Speke family (Allen, 1626).
Immediately to the south of the house is a rectangular area enclosed by a C17 wall (listed grade II) with, on its south side, a pair of gate piers aligned with the set of entrance piers attached to the coach house further south. The area is laid to lawn, with borders on either side and a central walk. At its north end central steps lead up to a balustraded terrace situated along the south front of the Manor.
To the east, beyond the C17 granary and a rockery introduced in the late C20, is a rectangular enclosure surrounded by a drystone wall. It is gently terraced, with low earth banks along the north and south sides sloping down to the central level lawn with a formal pond in the eastern part. The lawn is surrounded by yew-hedged garden rooms (late C20) including a Rose Garden, an Orchard, a Wide Borders Garden, a Foliage Garden, a Long Rose Garden, and a small parterre garden planted with box and yew called the Chess Set. The garden rooms are surrounded to the north and south by a Beech Walk, to the west by a Lime Walk, and to the east by a Rose Walk, all of which are ornamented throughout with statuary and seats. The area covering the east garden was previously used as an orchard (Allen, 1626)
To the west of the Manor the ground is terraced to give a series of levelled spaces laid out as walks, gardens, and lawns, encompassed by a C17 stone wall (listed grade II) with openings onto the West Drive (late C20). South of the top terrace, called Archery Walk, are two walled areas on a lower level called Mulberry Lawn and Croquet Lawn (laid out in the late C20). A formal pond and the swimming pool extension (late C20) have been built over the eastern end of the Archery Walk. The wall along its north side terminates in two semicircular crenellated bastions at its east and west corners. Set into this wall is a seat, and it has been suggested that the top terrace may therefore have been used for crossbow tournaments in the medieval period (CL 1991). To the north of Archery Walk is a pinetum planted in the early 1990s to shelter the gardens. The field to the south-west of the Manor (outside the area here registered) includes the remains of a Roman villa. The series of walled gardens described above are first shown on Andrews and Drury's map of 1773. On Francis Allen's survey of 1626, the area west of the Manor is called 'The Bott Gro'. The series of walled gardens was restored by Brakspear in 1920-5.
The walled garden situated below the Croquet Lawn and Mulberry Lawn is laid out as a vegetable garden (early 1990s), lined to the north by mature beech trees.
Country Life, 20 (20 February 1926), pp 274-81; (27 February 1926), pp 306-12; no 10 (7 March 1991), pp 58-61
Hazelbury Manor: Inspector's Report, (English Heritage 1990)
Grant application to EU for support for a pilot project to conserve the European Architectural Heritage, with supporting material compiled by the then owner of Hazelbury Manor (1993) [copy on EH file]
Leland, Itinerary of England and Wales, c 1541 (quoted in CL 1926)
Francis Allen, A survey of Hazelbury Manor, 1626 (Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office)
Andrews and Drury, Map of Wiltshire, 1773
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1889
2nd edition published 1919
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886
2nd edition published 1900
3rd edition published 1921
Description written: October 2000
Amended: November 2003
Register Inspector: FDM
Edited: November 2004