Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Clee St. Margaret
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Cleobury North
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Formal gardens and landscape park associated with a country house extended from mid C19 to take advantage of the rugged upland scenery of Brown Clee Hill.


The Hollands first acquired land in Burwarton in the later C15, and over the next 300 years added to this holding by purchase, exchange and marriage. In the early C17 Alice, the Holland heiress, married Henry Baugh, who held extensive estates in his own right, and in the late C18 Harriet, daughter and heiress of Benjamin Baugh, married Gustavus, sixth Viscount Boyne. Throughout the C19 the Boyne estate was further enlarged, and around Burwarton a compact holding was built up which enabled the construction of a new house in a landscape park. Some 8500 acres (c 3500ha) of the estate were sold in 1919, reducing it to a core comprising the three parishes of Burwarton, Cleobury North and Aston Botterell, and including all the eastern slopes of Brown Clee Hill. The Burwarton Estate, still one of the county's largest, remains (1999) in private hands.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Burwarton House stands in its park c 300m north-west of the village of Burwarton. This lies on the B4364 from Bridgnorth, 13km to the north-east, to Ludlow, 15km to the south-west. The park lies on the lower eastern slope of Brown Clee Hill (at 540m the highest summit in England south of the Pennines), the north end of the Clee Hills. It is bounded to the east by the B4364, and to the south by Banbury Lane (a metalled track), which turns west off this. To the north and west the boundary largely follows field edges. The area here registered is c 400ha.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main approach drive enters the park c 300m north of Burwarton village, and runs 500m west to the forecourt on the east side of the House. At the end of the drive is a plain, single-storey brick lodge, its first phase probably mid C19. A second entrance is at the south end of Burwarton village, opposite the former church, where there is a single-storey, mid C19 lodge in the Italianate style. From here a sinuous drive runs west of the kitchen garden and then through woodland east of the House before joining the main drive 200m to the east of the building.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Burwarton House was built 1835-9 to designs by Anthony Salvin (d 1881) in the Italianate taste, and was enlarged by the same architect 1876-7. The House was altered and enlarged c 1900 and in 1922 before being greatly reduced in size and modified 1956-7 by Philip Skelcher and Partners.

A quadrangular brick stables range of the mid C19 (post-1841) with simple Italianate detailing stands 150m north of the House.

Before the construction of the new house in the 1830s the chief house stood c 300m to the south-east, on the south side of the site later occupied by the kitchen gardens.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The main garden, defined by clipped yew hedges, comprises a series of terraces with steps and gravel walks which fall away south of the House. These were presumably established c 1840. In the 1920s they were extended by Brenda Colvin (d 1981) further to the south to include a rose garden within a yew hedge. A tennis court now occupies the north-west sector of the garden. South of the garden the ground continues to descend into the valley of the main stream which drains the park, over which there are good views from the garden. The main view at Burwarton however is from the west side of the House, enjoyed either from the dining room or from the lawn, bounded by a ha-ha, which it overlooks. This view, known either as 'The View' or 'The Vista', is across the grassy central part of the park and upward onto the Sheepwalk on the lower slope of Brown Clee, with woodland to either side, to the point known as 'Vista' 1.5km west of the House.

Against the east side of the House is a formal rose garden, created c 1960 after the House's reduction.

PARK The park divides into three zones. The first is its east half, which slopes fairly gently uphill from east to west and is largely open grassland with specimen and parkland trees and some clumps. There is a much greater density of specimen trees east of the House where they lie amidst a shrubbery. About 750m north-east of the House is the village cricket ground. The land north of this was probably a relatively late addition to the park; clumps are shown here on the OS map surveyed in 1883 although the area was not annotated (unlike the rest of the park) with the park tone.

The western half of the park comprises its other two zones. Generally the park's west half is more rugged, the slope steeper and cut with numerous dingles carrying streams eastward. Many of these join before they reach Bridge Pool, thereafter running in a well-defined yet broad and shallow valley west and south of the House. Where the west half of the park is visible from the House it has a conventional parkland character (this is the second of the three zones), with open grassland (Sheepwalk), grassland with mature parkland trees (eg south of Sheepwalk, and north of Bryan's Wood) and woodland, largely coniferous, but planted in a manner which is ornamental. Probably from the time the park was created this generally ornamental character was promoted, with access provided by the Ludlow Drive which runs roughly south-west from north of the House to the far side of Bridge Pool before turning to run south past The Parks (from where there are good views over the stream valley east to the House) and Chapelwood Farm to Banbury Lane. Various walks, some terraced, lead off this, for instance around and north-west from Bridge Pool. What traditionally were known as the pleasure grounds extend northward to The Wicket.

Bridge Pool was created in the 1830s to serve as a fire pool for the House although it also had an ornamental character. There is an icehouse cut into the bank on its east side, and a summerhouse formerly stood on its south-east side. A second fire pool, the Boyne Water, was made 1.5km south-west of the House in 1850 (it is also known as Odessa, a Crimean War reference); if required, its water could be carried via an artificial embankment to the stream above Bridge Pool. The third main pool, The Slade, 400m south-west of the House, was created after 1841. It was heavily overgrown in the late C20.

Beyond, west of, this ornamental zone, is the third of the park's three zones: high thin pastures in late-enclosed, stone-walled fields and abandoned industrial landscapes. Some of the main boundaries within the area, for instance the north boundary of the block of enclosures west of Boyne Water, and of Wallemoore Wood, comprise flat-topped, stone-walled banks, c 1.5m high and 1.5m wide. The industrial remains comprise bellpits and other remains of mainly post-medieval mining for coal and ironstone (eg in the area of Green Lea, west of Boyne Water), and quarries where sandstone and dhu stone was got.

Scattered through the western half of the park are a number of properties (the several Parks cottages, The Wicket, Burwarton Pole, Chapelwood Farm etc). Most probably originated as squatter properties but were rebuilt by the estate in the C19. The Old Dairy, part of the estate yard 300m north-west of the House, includes a two-storey stone cottage dated 1859 and brick farm buildings of 1882. These were being combined in a large new house in 1999. An original squatter cottage survives little altered at 2 Banbury Lane.

The park was already in existence by 1827, over a decade before the House was rebuilt. At this date it comprised an area corresponding fairly closely with the first of the three zones treated above. It was gradually extended during the mid to late C19 as further properties were purchased and added to the estate.

KITCHEN GARDEN The brick-walled kitchen garden, c 300m south-east of the House, was built in the mid C19 (main part post-1841), on the site of the earlier house's garden. Measuring 80m east/west by 110m north/south, the walled garden is roughly square. A pair of single-bay brick bothies stand either side of the north-west entrance to the garden, while outside the south-west corner of the garden is a stone, two-storey building of the mid C19, apparently the main bothy. The interior of the garden is grass with fruit trees. Glasshouses, C20 but incorporating C19 elements, stand against the north wall, and behind this are sheds.

The former head gardener's house, now the estate office, stands 150m to the east (outside the registered area).


S Leighton, Shropshire Houses Past & Present (1901), p 41 and pl Country Life, 127 (17 March 1960), pp 582-4 Burwarton Estate Heritage Landscape Management Plan (nd, early 1990s) P A Stamper, Historic Parks and Gardens of Shropshire (1996), 105 J V Hinton, Aston Botterell, Burwarton, Cleobury North (nd, c 1996)

Maps C and J Greenwood, Map of Shropshire, 1827 Tithe map for Burwarton, 1841 (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1883, published 1891 OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1883, published 1884 2nd edition surveyed 1902, published 1903

Description written: January 1999 Register Inspector: PAS Edited: February 2000


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:
Parks and Gardens


This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.

End of official listing

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