Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
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Cotswold (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 08068 05942


Gardens and a landscape park, including remnants of a geometric layout of c 1700, associated with a contemporary country house.


In the later C15 the manor of Barnsley had a complex history and formed part of several royal estates and in the early C16 formed part of the jointure of each of Henry VIII's wives. On Catherine Parr's death in 1548 it passed to Anthony Bourchier (d 1551), in whose family it descended throughout the C17. Brereton Bourchier (d 1714) inherited in 1693, and began the present house within a park c 1700. Brereton's heir was his daughter Martha, who married Henry Perot, MP for Oxford and dilettante, who was succeeded by his daughters Martha (d 1773) and Cassandra (d 1778). The last devised the manor to a relation, James Musgrave, who inherited a baronetcy in 1812. Barnsley Park then descended in that family until 1935 when Wenman Humfry Wykeham-Musgrave sold the house and park to Lady Violet Henderson (d 1956). It remains (1999) in private hands.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Barnsley Park stands within its park 1km north-east of the village of Barnsley. This lies on the B4425 from Cirencester, 6km to the south-west, to Burford. The park itself occupies a tract of high and largely level ground, to the east known as Barnsley Wold, between the rivers Churn, to the west, and Coln, to the east. The park is bounded to the south by the B4425, and to the west by the unclassified road from Barnsley to Coln Rogers. Tracks and footpaths also follow sections of the north (Cadmoor Lane) and east boundaries. The area here registered is c 150ha.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main private approach today (1999) is from a gate (listed grade II) on the B4425 300m east of Barnsley village, from which a drive runs across the park to the west front of the house. The main service approach, also serving the business units in the former farmyard, approaches by a turning off the B4425 at the south-east corner of the park. In the C19 a drive (now gone) ran west from this point across the park, and standing at the end of the former drive is the Pepper-pot Lodge (listed grade II), a two-storey octagonal stone building of c 1810 by John Nash (1752-1835). Attached to its south side is a curved loggia, at the end of which is a pair of gate piers. The modern approach road runs up the outside of the park wall for 200m before entering the park to run on a curving line north-west to the various service buildings, houses, and business units north of the house.

Map sources show that in the past there were several other drives to and from the house, radiating out across the park. The drives are (late C20) no longer visible. Gates in the park wall stand at the end of some of these, and at the south-west corner of the park is a polite stone lodge of the later C19 adjoining a pair of ashlar gate piers (all listed grade II).

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Barnsley Park (listed grade I) is an ashlar house of three storeys. Its main front is to the west, the central three of its nine bays projecting forward and supporting a pediment. There are also show fronts to the south and east, while to the north are service buildings.

North of the house, facing west, is an ashlar stable block (listed grade II) of the early C19. North of this is a former farm court; its stone buildings include an C18 dovecot and a barn of the 1790s (both listed grade II). These were converted in the 1980s to business units. Late C20 farm buildings adjoin to the east.

Barnsley Park is believed to occupy the site of one of medieval Barnsley's two manor houses, owned in the early C14 by the FitzHerberts. The present house was probably that begun by Brereton Bourchier soon after his marriage in 1700 to Catherine, a daughter of James Bridges, Lord Chandos. This was of five by seven bays, being extended to its present form after 1719 by his son-in-law Henry Perot. No architect is known for either phase. Anthony Keck (d 1797) did redecoration work c 1780. John Nash made internal alterations for James Musgrave between 1806 and 1809, at the same time that he added the Orangery and the Pepper-pot Lodge.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS Around the house are formal hedged gardens, almost all laid out since the 1960s. Beyond these, to the west, is a semicircular pleasure ground, while to the east is The Grove. These, conversely, are broadly contemporary with the house.

Against the west side of the house is an unwalled gravelled forecourt. West of this, extending downhill for c 100m to the ha-ha which defines the pleasure ground is a plantation of beeches planted in the 1960s, subsuming some mature specimen trees including several Wellingtonia. The plantation is cut through with a broad central ride, giving a view from the house to the western part of the park, and other radial ones, aligned on parkland features. A low mound in the north part of the plantation screens the walled garden from the house.

South of the house high beech hedges define an elaborately symmetrical compartment, lawn with beds to the edge and three mature specimen trees on its west side. A wooden bridge at the south end of the compartment gives access over the ha-ha to the park beyond. Beech hedges similarly bound the rectangular lawn extending east from the house, up which run lines of Irish yews. On the lawn's north side, c 10m west of the north-east corner of the house, is the south-facing Orangery of c 1807 by John Nash, supported by Ionic stone columns (listed grade I). North of the east lawn is a rectangular, 50m long pool, marked on a mid C18 estate map as a fishpond. A smaller pool to the west was made in the 1960s.

East of the east end of the east lawn is the apex of a patte d'oie extending through the north half of The Grove. This now comprises a plantation of mixed deciduous and coniferous species occupying a roughly triangular compartment 400m long from north to south and 300m wide at its north end. Its long south-east boundary with the park, and that to the west, are bounded by 2m deep, stone-walled ha-has. Midway along the former, and at the south apex of The Grove, are projecting bastions. These remain from the original configuration of The Grove, which on the mid C18 map is shown with a complex internal geometric arrangement of radiating straight paths with circular clearings at intersections and additional semicircular bastions.

PARK The house stands close to the centre of a roughly square park, 1.5km from east to west and c 1.2km from north to south. The southern half of the park is laid out as a landscape park, and most of its subdivisions, radiating from The Grove and the pleasure ground, are ha-has with drystone walls. The park, permanent pasture, is well studded with parkland trees. Long Copse lies down the west edge of the park, with Queen's Well Wood east of it. There are three, late C20, straight avenues. In the west part of the park, aligned between the house and the late C20 arboretum beyond the west boundary of the park, is one of lime. Running south from the south-west edge of the pleasure ground is a double plane avenue, while running west from the Pepper-pot Lodge is one of silver birch, planted in 1986. West of the Plane Avenue is an extensive area of ridge and furrow, with broad ridges likely to be of medieval date. Presumably this represents part of Barnsley's open-field land. North of this, west of the pleasure ground, is narrower ridge and furrow, likely to be of later date.

The northern half of the park is divided into a series of large fields, laid to permanent pasture and with numerous parkland trees both singly and in some small plantations. Some of the trees are mature, others plantings of the late C20. At the highest point in the park, on the north side of the main service drive 350m from the house, is a four-storey stone pumping house (listed grade II) of 1895. Just west of the centre of the north part of the park, on the south-facing slope, is the site of a Roman villa. This is surrounded by a network of earthworks (scheduled ancient monument), thought to represent its fields and stockyards. Their survival suggests the area has not subsequently been cultivated, and was not a part of the village's open-field land. It supports (but does not prove) the suggestion (Gervase Chilton pers comm, 1999) that the north half of the registered area coincides with the medieval park. Around the edge of the park are the remains of wedge-shaped standings dating from the Second World War when the park was used to repair fighter aircraft.

A medieval park was disparked before 1542. The boundaries may have survived, however, to be adopted when the park was reformed and enlarged when Brereton Bourchier built his new manor house c 1700. Bourchier was said to have 'a pleasant grove and walks of trees and a large park' c 1710 (Atkyns 1712), and in 1730 the outlying parts of the park were described as inclosures. In the mid C18 the north half of the park was divided, as in the late C20, into a series of fields, with an avenue in the north-east corner of the park. Elsewhere the south-east edge of The Grove was the park boundary, while to the south-west the park did not extend up to Barnsley village, lying instead c 125m north of it. Avenues ran south and west of the house in the south-west quarter of the park. The park was extended south-east of The Grove to its present boundary in 1794 when the Barnsley to Ablington road was diverted. This part of the park is called New Ground.

KITCHEN GARDEN The walled kitchen garden stands 200m north-west of the house, and was already present in the mid C18. It is rectangular, c 100m long from east to west by 70m wide. The walls are of rubble stone, with inner sections of the north wall brick. At the east end of the north wall is a 40m long glasshouse of c 1890 (semi-derelict 1999) ranged either side of a central gabled entrance. Its east half is a vinery. A late C20 greenhouse stands to its south-west. Behind the north wall is a range of stone sheds. Adjoining the east end of these is an icehouse. East of the walled area is Garden Cottage.

Before 1981 a swimming pool and tennis court had been constructed in the west half of the garden. Service pavilions associated with the former, and a seat at the south-west corner of the garden, incorporate post-medieval stone pillars. These were brought from a structure, probably an open-fronted animal shelter, which stood close to the end of the central alley of the patte d'oie radiating east from the house. At the same time the east half of the walled garden was laid out as a pleasure garden. New gate piers were installed at the entrance in the centre of the south wall, framing a view across the park of Barnsley church.


R Atkyns, The Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire (1712), p 249 Country Life, 116 (2 September 1954), pp 722-5; (9 September 1954), pp 806-9 D Verey, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire The Cotswolds (2nd edn 1979), pp 96-100 Victoria History of the County of Gloucestershire VII, (1981), pp 13-16 J Sales, West Country Gardens (1981), pp 35-6 Trans Bristol & Gloc Archaeol Soc 103, (1985), pp 73-100

Maps Barnsley Park estate map, mid C18 (D 2383 P1), (Gloucestershire Record Office)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1882, published 1884

Description written: June 1999 Amended: May 2001 Register Inspector: PAS Edited: March 2003


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

Legacy System number:
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

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