Formal gardens of c 1920 incorporating an early C17 raised walk associated with a castle and small country house.
In the early C12 Ramsey Abbey granted the manor of Barnwell St Andrew to Reginald le Moyne. About 1266 the castle was rebuilt by his descendant Berengar le Moyne. The abbey regained possession of the manor in 1276, and until the Dissolution the castle was occupied by tenants. In 1540 the castle was purchased by Sir Edward Montagu (d 1557), Chief Justice of the King's Bench, who had been the abbey's steward at Barnwell for twenty years and who was putting together a very large estate in the north-east of the county. Edward's son undertook rebuilding at Barnwell, which may have included breaching the west side of the curtain wall to give a view over the garden there. Over the following century it was the home of various members of the family until Ralph Montagu, who inherited in 1684, chose Boughton as his main home and dismantled Barnwell Castle. An adjoining house however was retained and subsequently much enlarged. It remained in the family until the Duke of Buccleuch sold it in 1913 to Horace Czarnikov, a subsequent owner being Mrs MacGarth. In 1938 the house was purchased by HRH the Duke of Gloucester. It remains in private hands in 1998.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Barnwell St Andrew lies on the east side of the A605 from Oundle, 4km to the north, to Thrapston. The village lies immediately north of and adjoins that of Barnwell All Saints, up a small side valley opening onto the main valley of the Nene, which lies 1.5km to the west.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
A map of 1716 shows that the main approach was then via an avenue which approached the house from the east, across Kitching Close. This led to the Barnwell to Armston road, later reduced to a footpath.
The Castle stands on the Roman road from Thrapston to Ashton, the length south-west of the Castle being Well Lane.
Barnwell Castle (listed grade I) was built in 1266. It comprises a stone, quadrangular curtain wall 40m x 36m, with round towers attached to each corner and against the south-east tower a twin-towered gatehouse. The Castle's domestic buildings were rebuilt in the mid C16, but dismantled in the late C17, leaving only the curtain walls.
Both in the Middle Ages and later the main service buildings lay east of the Castle. North-east of the Castle is an aisled barn (listed grade II) with some medieval fabric. South of this, between it and the house, is an early C17, two-storey, stone, former stables range (now converted to domestic use; listed grade II) with round-headed entrance arch and tall mullioned and transomed windows. A matching single-room block to the south may have been a porter's lodge. This was subsequently extended to three bays, and forms the core of the present house, Barnwell Manor (listed grade II). This is an irregularly planned two-storey house of square coursed ashlar and Collyweston slate roofs. The house was extended and enlarged in the C18 and early C19, and again in the late C19 by Gotch and Saunders who added the flanking wings.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
Ranged along the east front of the house is a series of stone-flagged compartments. To the north and north east are yew-hedged compartments and walks, one walk leading to a swimming pool.
Inside the Castle is a tennis court, laid out 1920.
About 20m north of the Castle is a raised walk (listed grade II), constructed c 1613 by Thomas Drew and probably restored in the early C20.
The gardens at Barnwell seem largely to have been laid out during the time (from 1913 to the 1920s) that the Manor was owned by Horace Czarnikov (see CL 1959, 300 for list of his improvements).
The stone-flagged compartments east of the house look across pasture land planted with trees and resembling a park. At the east end of this compartment, 400m from the house, is a cricket ground.
Against the north face of the raised walk is a rectangular kitchen garden, 90m east/west by 50m. A long glasshouse stands against the north wall. Like the main gardens, most of the work seems to be early C20.
The Victoria History of the County of Northamptonshire 3, (1930), pp 71-4
Country Life, 126 (10 September 1959), pp 238-41; (17 September 1959), pp 290-301
J Heward and R Taylor, The Country Houses of Northamptonshire, (RCHM(E) 1996), pp 79-81
Map of Barnwell, 1716 (map 1368), (Northants Record Office)
Description written: 1998
Register Inspector: PAS
Edited: January 2000