An C18 landscape park with ornamental pleasure grounds and gardens, and an C18 walled garden set around an C18 hall, with C19 additions and a C19 conservatory.
The Manor of Flintham dates back to the C10 and by the late C13 it was owned by Sir John de Hose (Throsby 1790). His descendants, the Hoses, then the Husseys, owned Flintham until it was purchased by Richard Hacker in the C17. Flyntham is marked on Speed's map of 1610. Flintham Wood (outside the boundary of the site here described), a steep bank planted with trees on the south bank of the River Trent which was a well-known landmark to travellers from Newark to Nottingham, was described by Bishop Corbert in 1620 (Firth 1924). It was probably Richard Hacker or his son who remodelled the medieval house which passed eventually to his great grand-daughter who married into the Disney family (CL 1979). The Disneys had improved the setting of the house in c 1777 (ibid) prior to its purchase in 1789 by Colonel Thomas Thoroton (1753-1813), the great nephew of Dr Robert Thoroton of Screveton, the antiquarian. He bought Flintham Hall as 'it gave scope for landscaping and planting that was absent at Screveton' (ibid). In 1798 the house was rebuilt in the Georgian style. The walled garden was also built c 1798. The Colonel's son, Colonel Thoroton Hildyard (1787-1830; the name Hildyard was assumed upon his marriage to the heiress of Sir Robert D'Arcy Hildyard) called in Lewis Wyatt who extended the stables in c 1820 and in 1829 began additions to the house. Only the library was completed when Colonel Thoroton died in 1830 aged forty-three. Wyatt's plans included those for a conservatory (ibid). The park also dates from the early C19 (Pevsner and Williamson 1979). In 1853, Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard, the son of Colonel Hildyard, commissioned Thomas C Hine of Nottingham to encase the Hall in stone and build the tower, turret, and conservatory. The lake was put in at this time and the lime avenue planted (guide leaflet). Judge Gerard Moresby Thoroton Hildyard, the grandson of T B T Hildyard, inherited Flintham in 1928. He made various alterations to the gardens as did the subsequent owner, who inherited in 1956. The site remains (1999) in private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Flintham Hall is situated 15km north-east of Nottingham in the village of Flintham on the A46 (Fosse Way). The Fosse Way forms the west boundary, with Inholmes Road and Spring Lane in the village of Flintham forming the north and east boundaries respectively, while to the south the site gives onto agricultural land. The church of St Augustine and its vicarage abut the north-east boundary of the site, to the west of Inholmes Road. A public footpath which runs 210m south of the Hall passes through the site from east to west. The 30ha site is flat and is screened by trees from the roads on the north, east, and west boundaries, with a more open aspect to the south.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance to Flintham Hall is at the north-east corner of the site off Inholmes Road. The drive passes North Lodge (also known as 'Tree Lodge') (listed grade II) by T C Hine (1814(99), heading southwards for 200m through deciduous woodland and continuing under an arch into the stable yard. The North Lodge was based on Hine's 'Model Cottage Design' of 1848 and is built of brick with steep gables and slate roof. A longer, now disused, drive leads off the A46, 150m south of the Inholmes Road/A46 junction, beside West Lodge (Hine c 1853, listed grade II) which is built of stone with shaped gables. This drive runs south-east for 180m between trees and shrubberies, crosses the paths leading south to Icehouse Plantation and north to Inholmes Wood, continues along a lime avenue across the north parkland for 350m, and after a further 150m arrives, between large cedars, at the west front of the Hall. A further lodge, the brick-built Keeper's Lodge (Hine, listed grade II), is set at the extreme south-east corner of the site and provides access to the Kennels. A path with high brick walls on either side gives access from Flintham village to the east front of the Hall.
Flintham Hall (listed grade I) in its present form is as remodelled by T C Hine for T B T Hildyard in 1853/7 in an Italianate style, encasing earlier buildings on three sides and built of brick, partly rendered, and ashlar with hipped and gabled roofs. The Hall is on the site of an older medieval and Jacobean house which was rebuilt in 1798, and faced in 1853/7 in Ancaster stone. The west front has a porte-coch¿re under a square tower. The west end of the south front comprises three storeys, while to the east of a projecting central bay is the two-storey library designed by Lewis Wyatt (c 1777-1853) in 1829. It is linked to a later barrel-shaped conservatory the full height of the Hall, 'no doubt inspired by the recent Crystal Palace' (Pevsner and Williamson 1979). The east front, a two-storey service wing of c 1798 which incorporated part of the C17 house, has an off-centre late C20 Doric portico which now (1999) faces a blank wall which is the western boundary of the churchyard. The north front, c 1798 with mid C19 embellishments, abuts part of the service wing and faces the stable yard.
The stables (listed grade II) lie immediately north-east of the Hall and were designed by Wyatt in the 1820s. Built of brick, they have hipped and gabled slate roofs. The stables comprise a west range, a north-east range, and a shorter east range. The north-east range has a pedimented two-storey central bay broken by an elliptical carriage opening. Above the opening is a clock and above that is an octagonal cupola topped by a weathervane. The south-west end of the west range has a re-sited C17 ashlar doorcase from Winestead Hall in Holderness, once owned by the Hildyards. The east range abuts the brick service wing (listed grade II). The service wing is of brick and timber with hipped and gabled slate roofs.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The gardens and pleasure grounds lie to the north, west, and south of Flintham Hall. The finger-shaped pleasure grounds extend into the northern park and are raised above a stone ha-ha. This ha-ha extends to the south of the walled garden. From the west front the grass path of the Long Walk leads through the pleasure grounds between Scots pine, Luccombe oaks, and yews as well as other ornamental trees and flowering shrubs. There are views from the Long Walk south-east to the lake. The path leads west for 20m then curves north-west for 100m, parallel to the southern curve of the ha-ha, and continues west to arrive at a turning north to a tennis court. A grass path leads to the tennis court, well hidden among the trees. From the junction the path continues west for 150m to a set of steps set in the ha-ha and a gate giving access to a strip of parkland. Another gate at the northern end of the strip leads to Icehouse Plantation
The south front of the Hall looks out on to a terrace (mid to late C19) with a stone balustrade with steps at either end (CL 1979). From the east steps a paved path leads to a fountain (C19 with C20 additions, listed grade II) set in a lawn which extends to the ha-ha on the southern edge of the pleasure grounds. On either side of the fountain are ashlar garden urns (1784, listed grade II) which came from Ossington Hall. From the fountain, a path leads south-west to a gate and small bridge over the ha-ha to the parkland. Flower borders, first laid out in the mid C20, extend along the south-west walls of the walled garden.
The parkland is divided into two unequal parts. The smaller part is the northern parkland which is almost completely enclosed by the woodland of Inholmes Wood to the north, Icehouse Plantation to the west, and the pleasure grounds to the east. The parkland, which is laid down to pasture, is bisected by the lime avenue of the disused approach drive and has a scattering of mature trees. At the southern end of Icehouse Plantation, which is reached from the Long Walk, is an icehouse (early C19, listed grade II). Situated 380m west of the Hall, it has a rounded brick interior and a metal ladder behind an ivy-clad entrance.
The larger, southern area of parkland is bisected by a fenced-off footpath which runs from east to west 210m south of the Hall. North of the footpath, the park is scattered with mature trees and some clumps. A painting by George Cuitt of the south front of c 1789 (ibid) shows a rural scene with longhorn cattle being milked and grazing sheep. South-east of the footpath is the lake which is fed by Beck Dyke on the eastern boundary. On the north shore of the lake is a rusticated boathouse with pantile roof, a feature marked on the OS map of 1900. Also marked on the map are an hydraulic ram on the north-east shore and, further south, a weir. In the late 1980s the lake was dredged and a new dyke for storm water removal was built (guide leaflet). The land to the south of the lake is farmed and the aspect is generally open with fine views from the Hall to the parkland and beyond and from the parkland to the Hall. Trees have been planted on the Fosse Way boundary in the late C20 to reduce the noise level. The south-west boundary is The Slips plantation with Kennel Wood on the south-east corner of the parkland.
The walled kitchen garden was constructed at the time of the major alterations and rebuilding in c 1798. It is situated 60m south-east of the Hall and is entered from the south front garden. It has heated brick walls (listed grade II) and is now (1999) divided into two sections. The north part includes the vinery and is planted with vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees and the south part is planted as a wilderness shrub garden. In the north part of the garden fruit trees have been planted on the north wall, adjoining the vinery (c 1790), part of which has been converted (late C20) into a swimming pool. A path leads south between low box hedges filled with flowers and shrubs, along the central axis to a sundial (1772, listed grade II). The two-bay, two-storey, brick-built Garden House (c 1798, listed grade II) abuts the exterior of the north-east corner, in front of which there are more vegetable beds. The centre of the garden has espaliered fruit trees surrounding large vegetable beds. Four busts of deities on ornate plinths placed in pairs against the north side of the central dividing wall are probably French and came from Ossington Hall (guide leaflet).
The southern half of the walled garden, now (1999) known as the wilderness or sculpture garden, was made into a shrub garden in the late 1970s. To the south-west of the middle wall is an old glasshouse reused as a pergola. On the exterior of the south wall are pheasantries or aviaries (Wyatt c 1829, listed grade II) built of brick with hipped slate roofs. The aviaries have a two-storey central canted bay with single-storey wings ending in square pavilions.
J Throsby, Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire republished with large additions (1790) [facsimile edn 1972]
J B Firth, Highways and Byways in Nottinghamshire (1924)
A Mee, The King's England: Nottinghamshire (1970)
M Girouard, The Victorian Country House (1979)
N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire (2nd edn 1979)
Country Life, 166 (20 December 1979), p 2374; (27 December 1979), p 2454; 167 (3 January 1980), p 18
G Plumptre, Collins Book of British Gardens (1985)
K Train, Nottinghamshire Families (nd)
Flintham Hall and Gardens and Church, guide leaflet, (nd)
J Speed, The Countie of Nottingham described The Shire Townes Situation and the Earls Thereof, 1610
OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1900
3rd edition published 1919(20
Watercolours and drawings (private collection)
Description written: September 1999
Amended: October 1999; June 2002
Register Inspector: CEB
Edited: January 2002