A landscape park with avenues, probably of C18 date, and gardens associated with a country house.
The West Langton Hall estate was put together in the late C16 and early C17 following the purchase in 1547 of the manor of West Langton by Robert Strelley (d 1554), the Crown's bailiff for the manor of Market Harborough, from the Langtons. Strelley's kinsman Thomas Staveley (d 1582) was succeeded as owner by his son Thomas (d 1631), who is believed to have rebuilt the Hall in the early C17. His granddaughter Mary (d 1689), who inherited in 1655, was succeeded by her granddaughter Elizabeth Stanton, wife of Sir Gilbert Pickering Bt (d 1736). Their daughter Frances (d 1766) devised the estate to her cousin Mrs Anne Ord, who was succeeded by her son the Rev James Ord (1759-1843). The Ords retained ownership until c 1873 when the estate was sold to Edward Warner (d 1894) of Quorndon Hall. The Warners sold the estate in 1912, and it was subsequently divided up. The Hall and park remain (1998) in private hands.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Langton Hall lies west of the villages of Church Langton and East Langton, on a low ridge looking south across a low and wide valley occupied by a tributary of the River Welland. The Hall's grounds are bounded to the south by the West Langton Road which leads to Kibworth Beauchamp, 4km to the west. Kibworth Beauchamp itself stands on the A6, 15km south-east of Leicester. To the east the park is bounded by the minor road to Church Langton. Otherwise the park boundary follows field edges. There is now no village at West Langton, and earthworks west of Langton Hall Farm, 400m south-east of the Hall, appear to mark settlement remains. The area here registered is 40ha.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The Hall's east forecourt is approached via a short drive off the West Langton Road. The brick gate splay is mid C18.
Although the core of the house is of 1660-9 Nichols (quoted in VCH) says Langton Hall (listed grade II) was begun in 1613. It is largely of ironstone, with limestone ashlar dressings. The main entrance is in the east side, and the main C18 garden front, of five bays and two-and-a-half storeys, to the south. Although the Hall is of several different periods it has a superficial unity, provided by its gothick windows and battlemented parapet, part of a modernization of c 1802 for the Rev Ord. Various additions are of 1902.
North of the Hall is a stables courtyard (listed grade II) of the mid C18 with later additions. In the 1990s this was converted to residential use, at the same time several new houses being erected to the north of this and the kitchen garden and the Hall divided (1998) into several independent dwellings.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The main garden lies to the south of the Hall. Running across the front of the building is a broad, low, gravelled terrace, at the east end of which is a C19 stone exedra seat. The garden comprises a lawn edged to east and west with clipped holly, box and yew. Originally the lawn looked south down the south avenue, but the view is now blocked by C20 coniferous planting along the bottom (south) of the garden. West of the lawn, and extending up the west side of the Hall, is a more informal lawn with mature specimen trees. Statuary and urns mentioned in the first edition of the Register were not in place in 1998 as redevelopment took place.
The park extends principally east and west of the Hall, and is permanent pasture with some mature specimen trees, some coniferous. Some 250m west of the Hall is a sports pitch. The main features of the park in the C19 and early C20 were three avenues radiating from the Hall: to the north-east, aligned on Church Langton church, to the east, and to the south. A 100m long section of the east avenue still stands, west of the road to Church Langton, as does a section of the south end of the south avenue.
The park is undocumented until the later C18. The estate is thought to have been landscaped by the Rev William Hanbury (1725-78), incumbent of Church Langton from 1753.
The roughly octagonal, brick-walled kitchen garden, 60m in diameter, lies immediately north-west of the stables courtyard. It is probably of the early C19. In 1998 the interior was overgrown and contained one free-standing greenhouse, of c 1900.
J H Hill, History of the Parish of Langton (1867)
The Victoria History of the County of Leicestershire 5, (1964), pp 195-8
OS 6" to 1 mile: Leicestershire sheet 45 NE, 1st edition published 1891
Leicestershire sheet 45 NE, 2nd edition published 1904
Leicestershire sheet 45 NE, 1930 edition
Leicestershire sheet 45 SE, 1st edition published 1891
Leicestershire sheet 45 SE, 2nd edition published 1904
Leicestershire sheet 45 SE, 1930 edition
OS 25" to 1 mile: Leicestershire sheet 45.8, 1st edition published 1886
Leicestershire sheet 45.12, 2nd edition published 1904
Description written: April 1998
Register Inspector: PAS
Edited: July 1999