GLOUCESTERSHIRE TODDINGTON MANOR
Late C18 landscape park around formal gardens and early C19 mansion.
Toddington Manor was the home of the Tracy family from the C10 to the early C20. The first manor house was built by John, first Viscount Tracy, in the 1620s (Kingsley 1989) and is shown in Kip's early C18 engraving (Kip and Knyff 1715). In 1797 Henry, the eighth and last Viscount Tracy of Rathcode, Dublin, died. His daughter Henrietta Susanna inherited the Manor and, a year later, married her cousin, the wealthy Charles Hanbury-Tracy (1778-1858), MP for Tewkesbury, whose family had made their fortune from Pontypool Iron Works (Sale catalogue, c 1997). In 1820, after the Jacobean house had been damaged by fire and dry rot, Charles Hanbury-Tracy designed and built the present Toddington Manor on higher ground, north of the old manor (Kingsley 1989), of which only the east facade of a Jacobean gatehouse survives, west of the church. Hanbury-Tracy was his own architect but was assisted by the draughtsman William Shuster (Kingsley 1992). Hanbury-Tracy also laid out pleasure grounds and gardens on an extensive scale and improved the deer park to the south of the Manor (CL 1904). Hanbury-Tracy was created first Lord Sudeley in 1838.
From 1873 to 1879, Hanbury-Tracy's heirs built a new church south of the Manor and extended the Manor gardens (Kingsley 1992). His son Thomas carried out much of the park landscaping, probably to Charles' plans (Sale catalogue, c 1997). In the late C19, agricultural depression led to the double bankruptcy of the fourth Lord Sudeley, who had inherited in 1877, and in 1900 the Manor was sold to Hugh Andrews of Northumberland (d 1925) (Kingsley 1992). Andrews improved the estate and re-erected the lodges. Mrs Andrews died without an heir in 1935 and the estate was broken up. During the Second World War the Manor was used first as the headquarters of the National Union of Teachers, then was later occupied by the US army (CL 1997). From 1948 it was owned and occupied by the noviciate and headquarters of the Christian Brothers. In 1965 it was damaged by fire (Verey 1970). From 1972 it was, briefly, a private residence, then an Arab school. The Manor is now (2000) in private hands but has been unoccupied since at least 1985, when the school closed.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Toddington Manor stands in the eastern half of its roughly circular park, c 200m north of the village of Toddington, which is c 5km north of Winchcombe and 12km north-east of Cheltenham. The site as here registered, c 100ha, is bounded to the south by the B4077 and to the west by the B4078. A minor road forms part of the eastern boundary. The park is enclosed by post and rail fences, mixed hedges, and occasional sections of wrought-iron fence. The River Isbourne runs from north to south across the centre of the park and the slightly undulating land slopes gently down to it from the east and west.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
There are three entrances into the park. The main approach is from the south: 300m south-east of the Manor, two square ashlar piers with multi-faceted, spherical finials, are set into a 1.5m high wall of cut stone, standing slightly back from the minor road which runs from south-west to north-east through this part of the park. The south or Winchcombe Drive (Plan, 1935) leads north-west, through wrought-iron gates, passing Winchcombe Lodge (?late C19), a two-storey ashlar building with a stone slate roof which stands just north of the western gate pier. The drive is lined by trees and shrubs then, c 200m north-west of the gates, after passing a pair of single-storey terraced C20 cottages to the east, the drive branches, one arm continuing north-west on a direct course to the Manor, the other curving north, then west, to the Manor. In front of the main (north) door of the Manor is a large square forecourt, to the north of which are several formerly clipped, symmetrically planted conifers.
Tewkesbury Lodge stands at the north side of the B4077 1km south-west of the Manor. Two matching C19 two-storey ashlar gatehouses with stone slate roofs stand north-west and north-east of a semicircular gravel sweep. The houses are built into a semicircular curve of high-quality, capped stone wall (1.5-2m high) terminating in stone obelisks at its east and west ends. A straight gravel track passes from the gravel sweep, through a gateway between the two houses, and continues north to the Inner Lodge, c 500m west of the Manor. The Inner Lodge (listed grade II) - a pair of twin, brick-built, slate-roofed cottages with a central archway - was built for Lord Sudeley in the mid C19. A track leads east from it to the Manor, crossing the River Isbourne via a triple-arched stone bridge.
North Lodge (C19) stands 1km north-west of the Manor, east of the B4078. It is a large, two-storey ashlar building with stone slate roofs. It stands slightly back from the road, in its own gardens. A track leads from south of the Lodge to the Inner Lodge, 600m to the south.
Toddington Manor (listed grade I) was designed in the Gothic style by Charles Hanbury-Tracy and built 1820-35. It was highly acclaimed in the C19 for its Gothic elements and picturesque style (Kingsley 1992) and is thought to have influenced Charles Barry's design for the Houses of Parliament (Verey 1970). The Manor consists of three rectangles of ashlar masonry, each ranged around an open court and connected diagonally with one another (ibid). The main, northern, block is mostly of two storeys with the main door at the centre of its north side. The Great Tower rises above the main block and the parapets of the (mostly flat) roofs are crenellated, with numerous ornate turrets and pinnacles. The other two, single-storey blocks, south of the house proper, house the kitchens and stables. The stonework on all faces of the Manor is ornately carved and decorated with statues.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The pleasure grounds extend for 5ha around the west, south-west, and south sides of the Manor. The C19 lower terraces, surrounding an inner, stone-paved terrace, were formerly laid out with geometrically arranged hexagonal parterres south of the north block of the Manor and an intricate, rectangular box hedge parterre with a central stone fountain west of the north block. Today (2000) only the box parterre and traces of the hexagonal parterres remain. The terraces are enclosed by retaining walls of coursed, squared stone, with ashlar balustrading and steps (early to mid C19, listed grade II) built by Charles Hanbury-Tracy. The steps lead down to the terraces from the south and west faces of the house proper. The southern steps lead to a long, straight, gravelled walk which runs south, through the formal gardens, then between late C20 tennis courts, continuing across the park as a tree-lined avenue. The church of St Andrew (G E Street 1873-9, listed grade I), c 250m south-west of the Manor, is an important element of the gardens, being visible from several points south of the Manor. No visible remains survive of the extensive formal gardens of the old Manor as illustrated by Kip and Knyff in Britannia illustrata (1715).
At its largest, Toddington Park extended for c 350ha, reaching beyond the southern and western boundaries of the present estate. The park is open, with scattered mature trees throughout, but fewer trees north of the Manor than south. The River Isbourne was dammed in the late C18 or C19 (Inspector's Report) to form a thin, sinuous, tree-lined lake, c 1km long, which divides the eastern and western halves of the park. Belts of mixed trees extend around the north-west, north, and north-east boundaries of the park and along the minor road which leads from the village to Winchcombe Lodge. South of the Manor, occasional mature conifer trees indicate the layout of former geometrical avenues. Burberry Hill, at the eastern corner of the park, is wooded. The Ladies Walk runs for 650m, in a straight line, from the Inner Lodge, south-west to the edge of the park. It is lined by mixed mature trees, including several Wellingtonias. In 1938 (Plan) the park was described as 'magnificently timbered with specimen oak, cedar, copper beech, chestnut, cypress, maples, pines and other trees'. The park was laid out in the late C18, though a deer park was already present by then, and was landscaped by Charles Hanbury-Tracy and his son Thomas from the early to late C19 (CL 1904).
In 1938 (Plan), the kitchen garden was located near to the lake and the Jacobean gatehouse (Plan) and a likely location is a c 1ha site, shown on the 1891 OS map, c 500m south of the Manor. There appear to be no remains of the kitchen garden today (2000) but in 1938 it included 'a fine walled garden divided by box-edged paths' with adjacent frames, potting sheds etc and another garden with six large double glasshouses.
J Kip and L Knyff, Britannia illustrata 2, (1715)
J Britton, Graphic Illustrations with Historical and Descriptive Accounts of Toddington (1840)
Gentleman's Magazine 29, (February 1848)
Country Life, 15 (30 April 1904), pp 630-7; 82 (9 October 1937), pp 374-8; no 46 (13 November 1997), p 84
Trans Bristol & Glos Archaeol Soc 88, (1969)
D Verey, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire The Vale and the Forest of Dean (2nd edn 1976), pp 386-8
M Binney and A Hills, Elysian Gardens (1979), p 36
Inspector's Report: Toddington Manor, (English Heritage 1986)
N Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume One, 1500-1660 (1989)
N Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume Two, 1660-1830 (1992)
Plan of Toddington Manor, Gloucestershire, 1938 (SL 190), (Gloucestershire Record Office)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1883, published 1891
R Kitton, Toddington, Seat of Lord Sudeley, view from the north-west; view from the east (in Britton 1840)
J Buckler, Toddington Hall, Gloucestershire (in Gentleman's Magazine 1848)
Toddington Estate, 1935, Plan, illustration and schedule of tenants (D1405/4/364), (Gloucestershire Record Office)
Toddington Estate, 1919 (D4084, Box 23/4), (Gloucestershire Record Office)
Sale particulars, with plan, 1938 (SL 190), (Gloucestershire Record Office)
Assorted newspaper cuttings, 1948, 1952 (47 500), (Gloucester Local Studies Library)
Toddington Manor, Gloucestershire, Sale catalogue, (Jackson-Stops and Staff c 1997)
Oblique aerial photographs, 1951, 1980, 1985 (NMR, Swindon):
Description written: May 2000
Register Inspector: TVAC
Edited: April 2003