An early C16 park surrounding, on three sides, a partly medieval hall, with on the fourth side an early C17 formal garden. A late C19 garden, possibly by W A Nesfield, is within the courtyard of the hall, with late C20 gardens to the east.
The Hall, Holme Pierrepont, then known as Holme (Saxon = an island) descended to the Manvers family in 1288 when Sir Henry de Pierrepont married Annora de Manvers. His descendant, also Sir Henry Pierrepont (d 1499), may have built the house, 'one of the earliest brick buildings known in the county ... with lodgings for retainers of the kind characteristic of late medieval houses' (Pevsner and Williamson 1979). Sir William Pierrepont received a licence to impark in 1518. Robert Pierrepont was created Lord Pierrepont, Viscount Newark and first Earl of Kingston in 1627. The northern end of the house was rebuilt in 1628 (Throsby 1790; Pevsner and Williamson 1979) and the walled garden was added at this date. Robert's son Henry, Lord Newark and Marquis of Dorchester built 'stables, garden, bowling green and divers other ornaments and offices' (Throsby 1790) in the mid to late C17. The north wing was demolished in the 1730s after Evelyn, the sixth Earl and second Duke inherited. The title of Duke of Kingston died out on his death in 1773. The second Duke's nephew, Charles Meadows, was made Lord Pierrepont, Viscount Newark in 1788 and first Earl Manvers in 1806. Holme Pierrepont Hall and the title Earl Manvers passed from father to son to Sydney, third Earl Manvers. Further work was done on the Hall when Thoresby (qv), their main residence since 1683, was being rebuilt in the 1860s. Lady Sibell Argyles inherited Holme Pierrepont from her brother Evelyn, fifth Earl Manvers in the early C20. The Hall was requisitioned by the army in both world wars and Lady Sibell returned in 1949. The Hall was renovated, the courtyard garden relaid, and new gardens created in the late 1970s. The Hall remains (1999) in private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Holme Pierrepont Hall and its grounds, comprising c 9ha, is situated 5.5km east of the centre of Nottingham, 1km west from Radcliffe on Trent, and 1km south of the River Trent. Its northern boundary is the Poiser Brook, the southern boundary is Adbolton Lane, the western boundary is a market garden and nursery, and to the east lie houses. The site is in a river valley with disused gravel pits on the north-west, part of which have been converted into the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre and Country Park.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance is from the south off Adbolton Lane through a gateway and along a semicircular curved drive. A spur off the drive 30m south-west of the Hall leads to the parish church. The drive leads through a metal gateway and cattle grid to the south front of Holme Pierrepont Hall then continues to the estate office, 150m east of the Hall. The drive formerly returned to Adbolton Lane via the lodge in the south-east corner of the site. The lodge, with white rendered walls and slate roof, can be seen from the Hall. On the OS maps of 1900 and 1914 a gateway is marked 170m north of the Hall. From the gateway the map shows a path which bifurcates, one path going south for 10m then south-west for 40m to end north of the Hall. The other path goes south-east for 20m then south for 30m to the north of the walled garden; it then continues east for 50m on its northern boundary, then south for 50m to the eastern entrance of the garden. Only the paths around the walled garden are still extant.
Holme Pierrepont Hall (listed grade I) is a courtyard house, built of brick with crenellations. The inner courtyard is formed by the south, east, and north wings. The north side of the courtyard has a late C19 single-storey arcade which continues around to the east side. The south, entrance front has two storeys and two projecting turreted single bays with two-and-half storeys. The north range was rebuilt by Robert Pierrepont, first Earl of Kingston in 1628, demolished in the 1730s and rebuilt again in the 1870s. The east, garden front has fifteen bays; those to the south are early C16 and those to the north C17, C18, and C19.
The stables lie 150m east of the Hall; south of them is Hall Cottage (listed grade II) which was built in c 1810 by William Wilkins (1778-1839) and added to in c 1890 when it became the estate office. The church of St Edmund (listed grade I) which lies 10m west of the Hall is built of ashlar with a slate roof and dates from the C13. It was rebuilt by the Marquis of Dorchester in 1666, restored by T C Hine (1814/99) in 1878/81, with further restorations in 1912 and 1960. It stands within a 0.5ha walled churchyard at the centre of the Hall's park.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
There are two garden areas: the courtyard garden and the gardens to the east of the Hall. The courtyard garden is laid out as a box parterre in the centre with herbaceous borders against the walls. The garden was laid out in 1875, possibly by W A Nesfield (1794-1881) (R Brackenbury pers comm, 1999) and was restored in the late 1970s. On the east front is the semi-formal garden created by the present (1999) owners in the 1970s. Herbaceous borders on either side of a lawn lead to a clipped yew walk which allows views north and south. Parallel and north of this garden is a nut walk also planted in the 1970s.
The parkland, which dates back to the early C17 (Pevsner and Williamson 1979), surrounds the Hall on the north, west, and south sides. On the west, in front of the church, the park is mown. To the north, the park has been laid down to pasture, and in the south is an arboretum with many specimen trees which was created in the late 1970s. The southern parkland is shown grazed by sheep in a painting of c 1780 (CL 1979).
Immediately east of the Hall are the remains of a walled garden formally used as a kitchen garden and now (late C20) down to pasture. There is now (late C20) only a wall (1628, listed grade II*) with 'an uncommon bond of brick' (Pevsner and Williamson 1979) on the north side and a fence on the south. Set in the north-east corner of the wall is a gazebo (early C17, listed grade II* with the wall) with an arched entrance and hipped slate roof. It has recently (1990s) been restored. Outbuildings lie on the outer edge of the north and north-east walls. The south wall is shown in the illustration by Thoroton from 1676 (Throsby 1790). The walled garden was the site of a C17 formal garden as illustrated in a painting of c 1680s which shows a rectangular walled garden with an upper terrace on the east front of the Hall. At either end of the upper terrace, balustraded steps lead to a lower terrace from which steps set in the middle of each of the three sides lead into a sunken garden laid out with parterres. Steps lead from the upper terrace at the west end into the sunken garden (Fleming and Gore 1979).
J Throsby, Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire republished with large additions (1790) [facsimile edn 1972]
A Mee, The King's England (1970)
J Anthony, The Gardens of Britain 6, (1979)
M Binney, and A Hills, Elysian Gardens (1979)
Country Life, 166 (20 September 1979), p 842
L Fleming and A Gore, The English Garden (1979)
N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire (2nd edn 1979)
D Kaye, A History of Nottinghamshire (1987)
M Higginbottom, Nottinghamshire Country Houses: Past and Present (1999)
Robin Hood Country, The County Guide to Nottinghamshire (nd)
K Train, Nottinghamshire Families (nd)
OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1900
3rd edition published 1914
Description written: September 1999
Amended: October 1999
Register Inspector: CEB
Edited: January 2002