Formal garden begun in early C18, developed C20, around early C18 manor.
At the death of Thomas Freame in 1689, his estate (not a true manor) at Nether Lypiatt was divided between co-heiresses. One, Anne Chamberlayne, obtained the house, which stood near to the present house. Her daughter Catherine (d 1707) and husband Charles Coxe (m 1693), inherited the house in 1699 and acquired some land from Catherine's aunt. Charles Coxe (1656-1728), MP for Cirencester and later Gloucester, and circuit judge for Wales, built the present house in 1717. Charles' son John inherited the house in 1728 and it remained the property of his descendants (though, from 1884, occupied by tenants) until 1914, when it was bought by Arthur Stanton, who sold it to Mr Corbett Woodall. After the First World War, Corbett Woodall employed P R Morley Horder to modernize the house. In 1923 it was bought by Mr and Mrs Gordon Woodhouse, who again used Morley Horder to add the north-west pavilion. Mrs Woodhouse made the house famous through the literary and artistic friends she invited to visit. These included Osbert Sitwell, Harold Nicolson, and James Lees-Milne. After Mrs Woodhouse's death, the house passed through several owners and remains in private hands today (2000).
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Nether Lypiatt Manor stands to the north of its c 2ha formal gardens. It is located 2km south-east of Stroud and 1.5km north of Brimscombe, east of a minor road connecting the two settlements. Lypiatt Park (qv) stands c 2.5km to the north-east. The site is bounded to the west by a c 2m high dry-ashlar wall, which runs along the minor road; and to the other sides by a lower dry rubble-stone wall. Nether Lypiatt Manor is sited at the top of an east-facing escarpment and is c 2km from the deep valley of the River Frome, which runs south and west of the house. The site is edged to the east by Mackhouse Wood but is otherwise surrounded by agricultural fields. Farm buildings and stables (the latter mid C18, listed grade II) stand at the north-west corner of the site and horse paddocks lie east of these, all outside the area here registered.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The Manor is approached from the west. A rectangular outer courtyard, consisting of three lawns divided by two gravel drives, is separated from the road by stone bollards linked by a chain. From the outer courtyard, gravel drives lead north to the stables and south to the gardens, through opposed gateways flanked by tall, square stone piers with ball finials. A third drive leads east to the inner courtyard. The two courtyards are enclosed to the north and south by high, stone garden walls (listed grade I with the Manor) running west from the house and are divided by a clairvoie consisting of square stone piers with ball finials, standing on a stone base wall and linked by wrought-iron railings. At the centre of the clairvoie two c 2.5m high stone piers with urn finials support a pair of wrought-iron gates and overthrow, both with scrollwork (gates and piers early C18, attributed to Warren of Cambridge, listed grade I). From the gateway, a straight stone-flagged path leads east, between box pyramids and twin rose beds (late C20) in lawns, up a short flight of stone steps to the main entrance of the Manor.
Nether Lypiatt Manor was built 1710-17 for Charles Cox and was restored c 1920 by P Morley Horder for C W Woodall. The Manor (listed grade I) is a compact, square-plan house, with two storeys, attic and cellar, built of ashlar limestone with a stone slate roof and tall ashlar chimneys. Two original single-storey wings with hipped roofs project forward from the Manor's south facade and a similar wing was added by Morley Horder in 1931 to balance the west front.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The main gardens extend to the east, south, and south-west of the Manor. The gardens are mainly walled and consist of enclosures aligned with the east and south facades of the Manor. To the east is a rectangular area with a pattern of formal beds. A terrace and border run beside the house. The compartment is divided by a hedge and wall from a sunken, terraced garden, south-east of the Manor. This is bounded by stone terrace walls, with steps down to a central lawn. The compartment contained a tennis court from the late 1950s. The terrace walls, as well as a yew hedge, separate this garden on the west side from the main double borders aligned on the south face of the Manor. West of this is a further garden compartment, containing a multi-coloured rose maze with gravel pathways. In 1966 this area was referred to as 'the former kitchen garden' and contained a tool shed, ten cold frames, and two cold greenhouses (Sale particulars, 1966).
South of the formal compartments is an area of woodland, c 1ha, divided by mown pathways and a central avenue of mature limes. In the woods, c 150m south-east of the Manor, stands a limestone obelisk monument (early C18, listed grade II) commemorating Charles Coxe's horse, Wag, who died in 1721. It is inscribed:
My name was Wag who rolled the green
The oldest horse that was ever seen
My years they numbered forty-two
I served my master just and true.
The gardens were begun by Charles Coxe in the early C18 but the three garden compartments south of the house only appeared after the late C19 (OS 1883). They were developed in the C20 and Rosemary Verey supervised their development from the late 1970s.
Country Life, 75 (19 May 1934), pp 512-17
D Verey, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire The Cotswolds (1970), pp 116-17
Inspector's Report: Nether Lypiatt Manor, (English Heritage 1986)
N Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume Two, 1660-1830 (1992), pp 181-2
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1882, published 1883
Sale particulars of Nether Lypiatt Manor estate in Thrupp, Stroud and Chalford, with plan, 1966 (SL 452), (Gloucestershire Record Office)
Aerial photographs, 1959 (NMR, Swindon)
Description written: May 2000
Register Inspector: TVAC
Edited: April 2003