An early C20 terraced garden designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield for a house also by Blomfield.
Caythorpe Court was built as a hunting lodge for Major Edgar Lubbock in the grounds of an old farm. The house, then known as Mansion House (Cryer 1995), was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield (1856-1942) in 1899 and built in 1901-3. Blomfield also designed the terraced gardens. By 1904 (OS) the mansion was known as Caythorpe Court. The house and grounds were sold in 1906/07 to Mrs Elma Yerburgh, the wife of a Lancashire brewer. During the First World War the Court became an Auxiliary Military Hospital and during the Second World War was the Headquarters for the 1st Airborne Division Signals. Lincolnshire County Council purchased the estate in 1948 together with additional agricultural land (Cryer 1995) and Kesteven Farm Institute was opened. In the mid 1960s the Institute became the Kesteven Agricultural College and in 1980 amalgamated with two other agricultural colleges to become the Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture. In 1994 the College became part of De Montfort University in whose ownership it remains (2000).
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Caythorpe Court is situated 13km north of Grantham and 2km east of the village of Caythorpe. The northern boundary of the site here registered is Caythorpe Heath Lane; the eastern and southern boundaries are contiguous with the rest of the College grounds and buildings and the western boundary overlooks agricultural land. The site, which comprises c 4ha, is in a rural setting, the house being set on a north-west to south-east ridge with views west towards Caythorpe village.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance to Caythorpe Court is off Caythorpe Heath Lane, 80m north-west of the mansion. The ornamented wrought-iron gates sit between partially rusticated gate piers and are flanked by high stone walls (gates and walls listed grade II). A gate lodge (listed grade II), situated to the east of the entrance and reached from the drive by a short flight of steps, was altered from a farm cottage by Blomfield c 1900 with subsequent alterations when it became the Head Warden's House in the 1960s. There is a garden to the south of the lodge. The drive, with a shrub bed on the north-east side and a yew hedge on the south-west side, leads south-east for 70m to the walled forecourt on the north-west front of the Court. A further entrance lies 125m east of the main entrance, also off Caythorpe Heath Lane, and gives access to the stables and the eastern half of the site. These drives are part of the early C20 drive system shown on the OS map published in 1903/04.
Caythorpe Court (listed grade II*) is built of coursed limestone and ironstone rubble with some banding, pitched stone-coped gables with ball finials, and slate roofs. It was designed in a C17 style by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1899 and built in 1901-3. The Court is L-shaped, with the service area to the south-east, and lies on a north-west to south-east axis. The north-east three-bay front faces a walled courtyard, in the centre of which is a sundial set in a fenced circular paved area surrounded by a circular flower bed. At right angles to the north-east front is the linking service range. The north-west front, the south-west front, and the south-west front of the service area all overlook the terraces of the garden.
Some 60m to the north-east of the Court are the stables (listed grade II) which were designed by Blomfield in c 1900. They comprise a long range to the north with a shorter range at either end, all ranges being of one storey. The long north range has a central two-storey projecting bay topped by a timber cupola containing a clock. The stables were converted into an accommodation block in the late C20 and there is now (2000) a car park in the centre of the courtyard.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The terraced gardens (listed grade II) are situated to the south-west of the Court and are entered from the entrance forecourt through a gate adjacent to the north-west front which leads on to the part of the upper terrace overlooked by the south-west facade. The upper terrace has grass adjacent to the Court with flower beds between a paved path and the balustraded edge. The paved path continues parallel to the south-east front of the Court with to the south a walled area of lawn, planted with a few trees, with flower beds to the north-east against the wall. The north-east boundary of the upper terrace forms the south-west boundary of the kitchen garden and there is a short tunnel between the two areas. A platform aligned with the central bay of the south-west front projects from the upper terrace; from here two flights of balustraded steps lead down to the middle terrace while a short flight of steps leads from the north end of the upper terrace to the middle terrace. Like the upper terrace, the middle terrace is L-shaped and continues parallel to the north-west front of the Court. A wall runs along the northern boundary of the terraces, broken by a low gate, and then curves convexly before continuing straight for a short distance. The stone retaining walls of the upper terrace are buttressed and have been planted with flowering plants. The middle terrace is grassed. Aligned with the steps from the upper terrace are balustraded steps from the middle to the lower terrace. These steps descend centrally for a few steps then divide into a double flight. The lower terrace is also grassed and has as its south-west boundary a yew hedge. South-east of the lower terrace is a tennis court. There are views out over the surrounding farmland from all three terraces. Beyond the terraces a path leads south-westwards down concrete steps to the site of the late C20 swimming pool, removed in the late 1990s (outside the boundary here registered).
An area of woodland occupying the north-west corner of the site is entered off the south-west side of the main drive. A gravel path with wooden edging laid out in the late C20 leads through the woodland.
The kitchen garden, which immediately adjoins the south-east corner of the Court, occupies most of the eastern half of the site here registered. A late C20 building, formerly the Principal's Residence but which now (2000) houses offices, is situated in its south-west corner. The north-east part of the garden is occupied by C20 glasshouses and frames and a boiler house is set in the north-east wall. Mid C20 student houses have been built along the north-west boundary of the kitchen garden, south of the stables.
A Hatfield, Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture, Guide to the Grounds and Horticulture Unit of Caythorpe Court (1988)
A Brief History of Caythorpe Court, guidebook, (Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture c 1989)
N Pevsner et al, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (2nd edn 1989)
L R Cryer, Caythorpe, A History of Caythorpe and Frieston (1995)
Caythorpe Court, Grantham, brochure, (Kesteven Agricultural College, nd)
Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture, Caythorpe Court, a plan (nd)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1903-4
Description written: February 2000
Amended: March 2000
Register Inspector: CEB
Edited: May 2002