An C18 landscape park and pleasure grounds forming the setting for a late C18 house. The design for the parkland was possibly influenced by the owner's friends, William Mason, Thomas Gray, Horace Walpole, and Mrs Delaney.
Papplewick, of Saxon origin, was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Augustinian canons were granted Papplewick in the late C12. The manor, rectory, and advowson of Papplewick formed part of the Newstead estate which was bought by Sir John Byron in 1540. Sir Theodore Collodon (d 1712), fellow of the College of Physicians, held the advowson of Papplewick by 1709. His daughter married Charles Montagu, nephew of George Montagu who became the Earl of Halifax. The grounds were described by Mrs Delaney, a friend of Mrs Montagu and her mother, Lady Collodon, on her visit in 1756 (CL 1963). Mrs Delaney had made a drawing of the house and its surrounding landscape on an earlier visit. Frederick Montagu, son of Charles, inherited in 1759 and built Papplewick Hall between 1781 and 1787 to replace an earlier house. He was made Privy Councillor in 1790. When the Hon Frederick Montagu died in 1800, the Hall was inherited by his niece, Catherine Judith Fountayne who died in 1822. Her great-nephew, Andrew (d 1895), succeeded and took the name Montagu. Andrew's brother, James left it to his younger son James Fountayne Montagu who sold the property in 1920. The estate was split up and in 1925 Mr and Mrs Claude Chadburn purchased a much reduced property which was added to from adjoining Newstead land. The property was sold in the early 1980s after the death of the Chadburns. The site is now (1990s) in divided private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Papplewick Hall is situated 10km north of Nottingham, north of the village of Papplewick, east of the village of Linby, and south-east of Newstead Abbey (qv). The registered site is roughly rectangular and comprises c 45ha. Part of the east boundary is Main Street while further to the north it runs parallel with Blidworth Waye, part of the B683. This latter was probably the old road from Nottingham to Mansfield which was replaced in 1787 by the new turnpike. The north boundary is an unclassified road which leads past Home Farm to the Old Quarry Banks. The west boundary runs south adjacent to the River Leen, then, further south, runs along the northern boundary of Iron Car Wood, continuing along a boundary plantation south to Church Plantation. The south boundary follows the southern edge of Church Plantation and Mill Pond Plantation, abutting the north side of the churchyard of St James' church, before running south-east to meet the east boundary at the lodge in the south-east corner of the site. Papplewick Hall looks west across the gently curving grassed valley, which frames the west view to the River Leen running north/south through the park. The Hall also enjoys a view of St James' church which stands 320m to the south-west.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The main entrance to Papplewick Hall is from the junction of Blidworth Waye and the unclassified road to Home Farm on the northern boundary, immediately south-west of Top Farm. The drive runs south for 200m with a line of trees to the west and fenced grazing land to the east and continues to the east front of the Hall. The entrance by Papplewick Lodge (early(mid C18 and C19, listed grade II) at the junction of the road to St James' church and Main Street is now (1999) disused. From the lodge, built of dressed stone with slate and tiled roofs, the drive ran past a well and then north for 200m before curving north-west for 90m to arrive at the east front of the Hall (OS 1915). A further drive, no longer extant, entered the site through the western boundary plantation and led east across the parkland, crossing the River Leen at the weir. It continued east and then north to the north end of the ha-ha before passing between walls to the stable yard north of the Hall (OS 1915). Other entrances to the site are at St James' church from the north of the churchyard, from the road at Home Farm 400m north of the Hall, and adjacent to the walled garden, 330m from the Hall, in the north-east corner of the site.
Papplewick Hall (listed grade I), located towards the eastern boundary of the site, has on the west, garden front five bays with three storeys and a basement, a rusticated ground floor, and a pediment above on the second storey supported by giant Ionic pilasters. At the north end of the Hall, a French window gives onto a small early C20 terrace. The east, entrance front has three wide bays with a central projecting rusticated porch with a balustraded sill and paired pilasters flanking a pedimented window. The south front has three storeys and four bays. The Hall was built by Frederick Montagu between 1781 and 1787 on the site of an older house demolished in 1784. The designer of the Hall is unknown but is in the style of Robert Adam (Pevsner and Williamson 1979).
Abutting the northern end of the Hall is the service wing (early C18, listed grade II), now a private house. It has an irregular L-plan and is built of coursed and squared rubble with hipped slate roofs. The stables (late C18, early C19, altered late C20, listed grade II) are built around a central courtyard which is open to the east.The north and south fronts both have two storeys, with a single storey to the west. To the east of the north front is a two-storey north wing. The stables are built of coursed and squared rubble with gabled and hipped slate roofs and are now (1999) converted to a domestic dwelling.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
There are gardens to the south of the Hall which are part of a curved pleasure-ground walk, enclosed by a ha-ha to the west and east, which links the Hall to St James' church. A gravel path runs from the east front of the Hall, around the south front to the pleasure-ground walk, with a spur, separated by a triangular lawn and flower bed, going to the west front. Flower beds edge the south front and a lawn to west of the path, with a rose bed centred on the Hall, runs down to the western edge of the ha-ha. There are views to Strawberry Hill to the north-west, to St James' church to the south-west, and westwards to the trees which now (late C20) mask the River Leen. The lawn extends on either side of the beginning of the walk which runs south, planted with conifers and deciduous trees with an understorey of rhododendrons and other ornamental shrubs on either side. To the east of the path, on both sides of the eastern ha-ha, rhododendrons and other smaller shrubs and flowers are planted. The pleasure-ground walk runs 130m south from the Hall and then 300m west to the gate of the churchyard, dropping down the hill, and although partly shaded by the taller trees and shrubbery there are views into the parkland.
The parkland begins below the ha-ha 40m to the west of Papplewick Hall and is now (1999) farmed. Crops are grown to the base of the rounded Strawberry Hill Plantation, down to St James' church, and west to the River Leen, the banks of the latter now (1999) overgrown with trees. Summerhouse Wood lies on the north-east bank of the Leen, west of Strawberry Hill Plantation which is to the north-west, c 300m from the Hall. A belt of woodland runs north/south immediately to the west of the river.
West of St James' church, a path leads from the edge of the fields to a weir on the River Leen and continues via a rough path into the very overgrown (1999) woodland of Church Plantation. On the banks of the Leen are the remains of a temple, to a plan from Mrs Delaney (CL 1963). The temple was still intact in the late 1950s but by 1963 it was in a dilapidated state (ibid). Mrs Delaney (1700-88), a good friend of Frederick Montagu's mother and a frequent visitor to Papplewick, described to her niece the visit in 1756. She said that the house stood in a valley, that the hedges and trees which interrupted the views of the valley had been swept away, and that flowers had been planted and seats placed by the river (ibid). Further up the valley of the Leen were formerly located two monuments: one to William Mason on the west bank, 560m from the Hall; and one to Thomas Gray on the east bank, 540m from the Hall. Gray's monument, which had been set up by Frederick Montagu in 1799, was presented to Eton College as a Second World War memorial. Mason's monument was thrown into the river and broken by hooligans in the early 1960s (ibid).
The design of the landscape may have been influenced by Montagu's friends, the poets William Mason (1724-97) and Thomas Gray (1716-71), and the author Horace Walpole (1719-97), owner of Strawberry Hill, Twickenham (qv) (Oldfield nd; CL 1963). William Mason wrote a part of The English Garden at Papplewick when he visited in the 1780s. Throsby in 1790, describing the improvements made by Frederick Montagu said:
'The situation of the house is well chosen, from whence there is a most pleasing and extensive view; the ground, formed by nature into swells and declivities which slope smoothly into a plain without any abrupt or broken parts, has been laid out with infinite taste and judgement. Here a variety of beautiful scenes open to the view, ...a walk of about two miles, surrounds these improvements'. (Throsby 1790)
Some 270m north of the Hall, in the north-east corner of the park, is the kitchen garden which is now (1999) in separate ownership. Two houses have been built within the garden. The garden walls (mid C18, listed grade II) are brick with ashlar coping and enclose an area of c 1.2ha. Some lean-to glasshouses stand against the south side of the north garden wall.
In the C18 Frederick Montagu owned 13.6ha of plantations of oak, ash, elm and other trees and was preparing another 16ha. He planted several plantations (outwith the area here registered) in honour of naval battles and their admirals, including the Howe Plantation, the St Vincent Plantation, the Nelson Plantation, and the Duncan Plantation (Oldfield nd). Throsby described a ride through the wider estate as 'a ride of four miles carried through well cultivated fields, enriched with a variety of spreading trees', which took in 'the whole of what may truely be called a Farm Ornee' (Throsby 1790).
J Throsby, Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire republished with large additions (1790) [facsimile edn 1972]
A C Wood, A History of Nottinghamshire (1948, republished 1971)
Country Life, 134 (29 August 1963), pp 492-6; (5 September 1963), pp 540-3; (12 September 1963), pp 600-3
N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire (2nd edn 1979), pp 287-8
B R Bruff (ed), The Village Atlas: The Growth of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire 1834-1904 (1990)
Papplewick Hall, guide leaflet, (nd)
G Oldfield, Papplewick's plantations and monuments (nd)
Plan of Papplewick and Linby, marking collieries and railways, mid C19 (Nottinghamshire Archives)
OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1915
Mrs Pendarves (later Mrs Delaney), Old Papplewick Hall, view of west front, 1742 (private collection)
Description written: September 1999
Amended: November 1999
Register Inspector: CEB
Edited: January 2002