Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Stroud (District Authority)
Frampton on Severn
National Grid Reference:
SO 75111 07810




Gardens with mid C18 Orangery on earlier canal, and small early C19 landscape park, associated with a country house of the 1730s.


The Cliffords owned land at Frampton on Severn by 1302. John Clifford purchased the almost bankrupt Frampton estate from his cousin Richard Clifford c 1650 and rebuilt the house. This itself was replaced by the present house, after Richard Clutterbuck, an official of the Bristol customs house, inherited Frampton in 1727. With the new house went a new garden and avenues, Clutterbuck's other works including the draining in 1731 of The Green (historically Rosamond's Green) which fronted his property. He died, unmarried, in 1775 and the property passed first to his niece Elizabeth Phillips, and then in 1801 to her nephew Nathaniel Winchcombe, who on receipt of his inheritance changed his name to Clifford. He had already bought the manor of Frampton and other lands in the parish. By the time he died in 1817 the formal gardens had been removed and a park laid out. Thereafter the property descended in the family and remains (1999) in private hands.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING The large village of Frampton on Severn stands on low ground c 1km from the east bank of the River Severn. It is on the B4071, which leads off the A38 from Bristol to Gloucester, c 15km to the north-east. The village is ranged around and south-west of The Green, which is c 700m long and 80m wide with its north-east end abutting the B4071. Frampton Court and its park front the south-east side of the north-east half of The Green. The area here registered is c 25ha.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES A deed of 1807 refers to two 'lately erected' lodges (Kingsley 1992). One, no longer extant, adjoined the main entrance off The Green, c 100m west of the house. This entrance has mid C18, rusticated ashlar gate piers with ball finials and wrought-iron gates, with pedestrian wickets to either side (all listed grade II). From here the drive curves eastwards, to the gravel sweep before the main, north-west front of the house.

The other lodge of c 1807 is that at the east entrance, on the north-east side of the park. It is a small, single-storey structure, extensively modernised in the C20. The rusticated ashlar gate piers with ball finials and decorative wrought-iron gates (all listed grade II*) were probably installed, like those at the main entrance, soon after the construction of the house in the early 1730s. From here a green drive, no longer used in the later C20, ran almost due west across the park to the front of the house.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Frampton Court (listed grade I), built for Richard Clutterbuck between 1731 and 1733, has a central Bath stone block of five bays and two storeys over a basement, with a concealed roof behind a parapet. The front, to the north-west, is richly ornamented. The central three bays have Ionic pilasters supporting a pediment with exuberantly carved achievement of the family arms, the central entrance to the piano nobile being approached by a broad and sweeping flight of steps. Lower, severely plain, stuccoed wings lie to either side. Over these rise oversized arched chimneys. The designer is unknown, although stylistic considerations as well as Clutterbuck's connections suggest a Bristol architect.

A mid C18 (but post-1760) ashlar dovecote (listed grade II) is situated c 40m south-west of the house. South-west of the main entrance, in the west corner of the registered area, are the former stables. Before 1730 this area was occupied by Ox Yard, the house's farm court.

The building which Frampton Court replaced had been built in 1651-2. It was a small, three-bay, gabled building of colourwashed brick, according to Kingsley (1989) little larger than most farmhouses at the time. This was demolished in 1731-3 and the present house occupies its site.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS To the front (north-west) of the house is a gravel sweep, beyond which is a lawn. A belt of trees and shrubs largely conceals the C18 stone-capped brick wall which fronts The Green. Running parallel with this wall is a rectangular canal, its south-west end c 70m north-west of the house. The canal, c 110m long and 10m wide, was already in existence in 1730 when it was called The Mote (estate plan). A roughly semicircular extension on its inner, south-east side, was made in the Victorian period. A walk, bounded by a shrubbery, leads along the north-west side of the canal to The Orangery (listed grade I) which stands at its north-east end. This is a mid C18 garden house designed as a pair of joined octagons of two storeys, with a central octagon rising above them topped by a cupola. The windows have ogee arches, the parapet battlements and pinnacles. Neither precise date nor architect are known; a strong case has been advanced, however, for William Halfpenny, who in 1752 joined with his son John to publish Chinese and Gothick Architecture Properly Ornamented (Saudan-Skira and Saudan 1998). The Orangery looks along the canal, with views to the front of the house and across the park. Immediately behind the Orangery is the walled kitchen garden.

Behind (south-east of) the house is a small mid C20 garden defined by a semicircular beech hedge, with a small fountain pool at its centre. A grass terrace may represent a Victorian phase of gardening.

Map evidence shows that the house demolished c 1730 had a narrow inner court and a broader outer one fronting onto The Green. Against the south-west side of this house was a parterre garden, and behind it a kitchen garden. Extending north-east and south-west of the house and its courts were orchards. The new house of the 1730s had a forecourt (approximating closely to the previous outer court) whose walls extended forward from the sides of the house's wings. A central gateway gave access from The Green to a turning circle before the steps up to the house. A door in the north-east side wall gave access to the walk alongside the canal, and an opposing door in the south-west forecourt wall to what were probably service buildings. Behind the house was a garden or court, while alongside, south-east of, the canal was an orchard. Courts, garden, and orchard were all swept away c 1806 as Nathaniel Clutterbuck modernised the surroundings of the house and set out the present landscape park.

PARK The park is roughly square, and measures c 400m from south-west to north-east by c 300m. It is almost flat, and there is a good view across it from the raised garden door on the centre of the south-east front of the house. The park is flat permanent pasture well studded with parkland trees. Some replanting, in oak, has taken place in the later C20 on the lines of the former avenues. A shelter belt runs along the north-east edge of the park, concealing the road beyond. An area of former parkland beyond (south-east) is largely occupied by the Gravel Lake, flooded gravel pits excavated in the early to mid C20. Trees along the far bank of the Lake, that is the south-east edge of the registered area, conceal other gravel workings beyond.

Even before Richard Clutterbuck built his new house of 1731-3 there were elements of a designed landscape extending into the Great Home Mead and the agricultural landscape behind the house, with an axial East [in fact south-east] Walk and a Diagonal Walk running east, probably towards the later north-east entrance to the park. These walks occupied the alignments of two of the four elm avenues which radiated from behind the house by c 1760 (estate map). Three of these avenues were in a regular patte d'oie arrangement, with a fourth running from close to the south side of the Orangery to the north-east entrance of the later park. At this date (c 1760) there was no park as such, and the avenues ran across a landscape divided into closes (approximately the north-west half of the park) and the open-field land of Upper Town Field (approximately the area occupied by the Gravel Lake). As Nathaniel Clifford modernised Frampton c 1806 he created, inter alia, the park as it exists today with lodges and shelter belt, although the patte d'oie arrangement of avenues was retained. Parliamentary inclosure in 1815 may have facilitated some further improvements to the park.

The park documented between the C13 and C16 was distinct from that around Frampton Court and lay in the south of the parish.

KITCHEN GARDEN A brick-walled kitchen garden, probably created in the early C19 from enclosures attached to Frampton Lodge, stands behind the Orangery. It is c 70m in diameter. Frampton Lodge was sold by the estate in the 1920s. In 1999 the kitchen garden was no longer cultivated.

The house demolished c 1730 had its kitchen garden beyond (south-east of) the kitchen court, behind the house and the parterre garden.


Country Life, 62 (8 October 1927), pp 506-12; (15 October 1927), p 538 Victoria History of the County of Gloucestershire X, (1972), pp 139-51 D Verey, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire The Vale and the Forest of Dean (2nd edn 1976, reprinted 1980), pp 191-2 N Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume One, 1500-1660 (1989), pp 213-14 N Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume Two, 1660-1830 (1992), pp 144-8 S Saudan-Skira and M Saudan, Orangeries (1998), pp 89, 104, 107

Maps Plan of Frampton House [etc], 1730 (D149 P17), (Gloucestershire Record Office) Map of Frampton, c 1760 (private collection) Map of Frampton, 1816 (private collection) Map of Frampton, c 1840 (private collection)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1879-81, published 1886

Description written: April 1999 Amended: May 2001 Register Inspector: PAS Edited: April 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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