Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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North Hertfordshire (District Authority)
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A country house with C17/C18 walled gardens remodelled in the 1930s, surrounded by an C18 landscape park.


In 1603 William Stone and his brother bought a farmhouse called Julians in the manor of Rushden. Here William built a house, c 1605(10. By 1700 the house (also known as Riseden or Rushden Place) was fronted by a symmetrical enclosed court, flanked by a service yard giving access to a porch on the west front, and a kitchen garden partly enclosed by orchards (Chauncy 1700). Adolphus Metekerke, who had married Penelope Stone in 1699, remodelled the house c 1715. It was again altered in the early C19.

Colonel Reginald Cooper remodelled the house and gardens from 1937 to 1939 (CL 1947). Amongst other things, Colonel Cooper reinstated the enclosed court, which by the late C19 had been replaced by an informal carriage sweep (OS 1883), and remodelled the gardens to the north of the house, adding a swimming pool set in one of the walled gardens. The estate was bought by the Honourable Mrs P Pleydell-Bouverie in 1940, and remains (1999) in private ownership.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Julians lies 6km east of Baldock, at the north boundary of the village of Rushden. The 90ha site is bounded to the south by Rushden, to the west by the lane from Rushden to Redhill, to the north largely by the lane leading north-east to Roe Green, and on the other sides by agricultural land and woodland. The ground is largely level, with a slight slope down to the west. The setting is rural.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main approach enters 600m west of the house, off the Rushden to Redhill lane, through a narrow belt of trees. The west drive extends east across the park, flanked by an avenue of trees. A spur 200m from the house leads north-east to the stable yard on the west side of the stable block. Some 40m south of the house the drive turns north to arrive at the forecourt on the west front, where a porch shelters the main entrance to the house. A stone gateway in the east side of the forecourt, south of the house, supports an iron gate and overthrow which gives access to the courtyard on the south front. The courtyard (walls, gates and railings 1937-9, listed grade II) is laid out with a central stone-flagged path flanked by two panels of lawn, and is enclosed to west and east by brick walls. In the east wall a further gateway, in similar style to that in the west wall, gives access to a lawn beyond overlooked by the east front. The south side of the courtyard is bounded by a low brick wall supporting iron railings flanked by two stone piers, in the form of a clairvoie. At the centre a gateway, flanked by further stone piers in similar style, supporting iron gates, gives access from the park to the path leading up to a broad, stone-flagged terrace running along the whole of the south front, and the central, pedimented front door. The structure of the courtyard, laid out in 1937-9 by Colonel Cooper, is based on the court shown in Chauncy's engraving of 1700, which had disappeared by the late C19 (OS 1883).

The former south drive, now (1999) a farm track, enters 1km south-west of the house off the Rushden to Redhill lane, at a single-storey, white-painted lodge in Gothick style which is set back off the lane. From here the track extends north-east through the park, flanked by park trees, joining the west drive 150m south-west of the house.

These two drives were in existence by the early C19 (Bryant, 1822). During the C19 (Bryant; OS 1883) a drive continued north-east from the south front of the house across the park to what is now (1999) a track just beyond the east boundary of the park, marking the site of a former lane linking Roe Green and Offley Green.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Julians (c 1610, remodelled c 1715, listed grade II*) stands towards the north of the site, enclosed, together with the gardens, by the park. The two-storey, rectangular, red-brick and rendered house was originally built with five Dutch-style gables on the south front (Chauncy 1700), and was remodelled in Classical style in the early C18. It was thoroughly restored by Colonel Cooper (1937(9), who added a central clock turret and long, single-storey room to the east front. A garden door stands at the centre of the east front.

The red-brick stable block (C18, listed grade II) stands adjacent to the south-west of the house. The east front of the stable block overlooks the west front of the house, across the entrance courtyard, with the kitchen block forming the north boundary of the courtyard. The stable yard lies adjacent to the south-west of the stable block, bounded to the south-east and south-west by two further ranges of buildings. The stable court opens on its north side onto a further courtyard, enclosed to the north and east by buildings and to the west by pleasure grounds.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The gardens and pleasure grounds lie to the north and west of the house, sloping gently up to the north. The garden door on the east front leads to a broad lawn, bounded to the west by the forecourt wall and partly to the north by the 1930s single-storey extension. A door in the north front of the house leads to the formal north gardens (walls and piers listed grade II), remodelled by Colonel Cooper 1937-9, using late C17 or early C18 structures and garden compartments, and further developed in the later C20. A sunken, stone-flagged north terrace extending along the north front leads up via a flight of semicircular stone steps from the house to a rectangular lawn enclosed by brick walls. The lawn is divided into two sections, with a further semicircular flight of stone steps flanked by a border linking the two. The southern half of the lawn, lying adjacent to the north terrace and flanked by further borders, is dominated by a circular stone pond, aligned with a gateway set in the east wall. This gateway, flanked by brick piers, gives access to the walled former kitchen garden.

The higher, northern half of the main lawn, also surrounded by borders, leads to a gateway set in the northern garden wall flanked by stone piers giving access to a further brick-walled enclosure containing a mid C20 swimming pool surrounded by stone flags.

West of the house and service courtyards lies a wooded area of former pleasure grounds (OS 1883), containing a further pond, with an orchard lying adjacent to the north.

PARK The park overlies undulating ground, divided by a valley running from west to east through the centre. Of mixed arable and pasture, it surrounds the house and contains scattered specimen trees (including some exotic species) and clumps, with a belt of trees running along the west boundary. An icehouse lies in a wooded former chalk pit in the centre of the park, some 350m south of the house.

KITCHEN GARDEN The brick-walled former kitchen garden lies north-east of the house and is laid to lawn planted with shrubs. A stone set in one of the walls is dated 1823. It was, in the 1940s, an exuberant herbaceous garden, set out in four main rectangular panels of borders. These were separated by a cruciform pattern of paths (CL 1947), the east/west path being aligned on the western gateway and pond in the walled garden beyond. In the late C19 (OS 1883) the area was under cultivation as a kitchen garden. A further compartment lies adjacent to the north and contains a rectangular pond, formerly a fishpond.


Chauncy, Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire 1, (1700) Victoria History of the County of Hertfordshire 3, (1912), pp 266-8 Country Life, 101 (20 June 1947), pp 1160(3; (27 June 1947), pp 1210-13; 102 (4 July 1947) pp 28-31 B Cherry and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire (1977), p 286

Maps Dury and Andrews, A topographical Map of Hartford-shire, 1766 A Bryant, The County of Hertford, 1822

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1883 2nd edition published 1899 3rd edition published 1925 OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1898

Description written: August 1999 Register Inspector: SR Edited: October 2000


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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