Heritage Category: Park and Garden

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1000720

Date first listed: 19-Dec-1986


Ordnance survey map of LULWORTH CASTLE
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Coombe Keynes

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: East Lulworth

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: West Lulworth

National Grid Reference: SY 84881 82528, SY 86109 83396


Archaeological remains of extensive and complex C17 formal gardens, c.20ha, in estate at most extensive c.280ha, 'landscaped' in later C18. Estate now in divided use and ownership.

Lulworth Castle built c.1608 for Thomas Howard, 3rd Viscount Bindon, though possibly begun 1588 for the 2nd Lord Howard, who had inherited the estate in 1590. Additions c.1700. Balustraded terrace to east built before 1721, extended to north and south before 1765, reconstructed 1776. Lulworth Castle gutted 1929, and now (1986) in guardianship of English Heritage. Stable block dated 1777, 200m to south-east. Walled kitchen garden C17 or early C18, 300m to south-west. Several entrances, some with adjacent lodges, now in various use and ownership: (1) 50m south of walled garden, mid-C19 with late C18 entrance piers beside; (2) White Gate Lodge, with late C18 gate piers flanked by battlemented walls, km to south-east; (3) east entrance, with gate piers dated 1798 and wrought-iron gates, 400m to east-south-east; (4) Wareham Gate Lodge, C17, re-erected 1808 on present site ?km to north-east of Castle. Previously sited c.80m to east of Lulworth Castle as part of formal garden scheme; (5) North Lodges, dated 1785, 1200m to north-north-west and built partly as an eye-catcher; (6) Clare Towers, late C18, once an entrance gateway, with twin circular towers and linking archway, 1300m to north-west. St Andrew's Church, 200m to south, forms a visual part of the C17 garden scheme. The chapel of St Mary, built 1786-87 for Thomas Weld, likewise forms a visual part of the later landscaping.

The terrain surrounding Lulworth Castle rises slightly from east to west. Extensive woodland to north-west (Burngate Wood, Park Wood) and north-east (Lodge Wood, Bowling Green Wood), with plantations or belts of trees along some boundaries. Henry Howard received a licence to empark in 1601. The deer park at Lulworth was created soon after, enclosing c.250ha. Most now returned to agriculture or other uses. An elaborate garden layout was established mid-C17, shown in an engraving of 1721 (see Harris below, p.131), comprising forms of parterre to east, north and west, divided by axial paths and avenues, and with rectangular plantations further west. While all smaller details of the layout have gone, the walled garden and the areas of woodland westwards remain, and the division of the woodland by geometrical paths is still apparent from aerial photographs. South of the Castle, a smaller formal layout in the 1721 engraving remained, much modified in C19, until c.1960. A bowling green was established early to mid-C17 700m to north-east of Lulworth Castle, surviving as open ground within Bowling Green Wood.

Ice-house early 1770s, designed by Richard Woods, 400m to north-west of Lulworth Castle. In 1790s the village of East Lulworth was moved from c.100m south of St Andrew's Church and the stable block to the present site km east of the Castle. C19 'landscaping' included creation c.1850 of the Lake, 1km to north-east, with the Fort, a folly, on north-west shore. Open parkland, with scattered mature trees, now (1986) extends eastwards from the Castle for km.

Country Life, 9 Jan 1926, 52-60 Girouard M, Robert Smythson and the English Country House, 1983, 225-226, pl.141-142 Harris J, The Artist and the Country House, 1979, 131, 327 Newman J, Pevsner N, Dorset, 1972, 194-196 Oswald A, Country Houses of Dorset, 1969, 127-130, pl. 142-141


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 1711

Legacy System: Parks and Gardens

End of official listing