Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
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Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
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Formal gardens, largely late C19 and including Pulhamite rockwork, a landscape park and separate deer park, the last with C18 summerhouse and C18 deer shelter, associated with a country house.


About 1600 the manor of Henley was bought by Thomas Powys of Ludlow. In 1770 his descendant the first Lord Lilford sold it to Thomas Knight, a member of the Shropshire ironmaking family, who set about modernising the house, building the kitchen garden and possibly creating the deer park. He died in 1803 when the property passed to Elizabeth Knight, the daughter of his eldest uncle Richard Knight of Croft Castle. She left Henley to her son the Rev Samuel Johnes, who assumed the name Knight. John Knight died in 1872, and in 1874 executors sold what had become a neglected property to Edmund Thomas Wedgwood Wood, under whom there was considerable investment in Henley and its gardens. The estate remains (1998) in private hands under the Woods' successors.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Henley Hall lies 3km east of Ludlow, and is bounded to the north by the A4117 road from Ludlow to Kidderminster. Otherwise the park boundary follows field edges. Draining south through the park, which extends to c 60ha, is the Ledwyche Brook.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The Hall is approached from the north via a straight, 250m long drive. Until the later C20 this was lined with elms, supposedly planted c 1816. At its north end, on the A4117, is an early C18 wrought-iron screen and gates (listed grade II*), probably by Robert Bakewell of Derby, brought to Henley in the early C20 from Wirksworth (Derbys). On the east side of the entrance is a single-storey brick lodge of 1876. A second entrance, 100m to the east, gives access to a back drive serving the stables courtyard and the Dower House.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Henley Hall (listed grade II) is a large and long red-brick building, ranged east/west, of various dates from the C16. It was rebuilt and extended in brick about 1700, and again in 1772 by Thomas Knight. Further substantial alterations and additions were made in 1875 and 1907.

About 100m north-east of the Hall are stables (listed grade II). The main, west range, of two-storeys and with a central pedimented gateway, is late C18. Many of the buildings east of this are of 1875 or later, when there was a stud here. North of the stables there is a large fishpond.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS Either side of the drive are formal garden compartments, laid out by the Woods in the early C20. These are defined by tall yew hedges, entered via opposing gateways with stone piers and wrought-iron gates. East of the drive the compartment contains a slightly sunken lawn, on the south-east corner of which are mature specimen trees. This represents a mid C20 simplification of the earlier Avenue Garden which in turn took the place of a fishpond present in the mid C19. Along its north side is a shrubbery belt with mature trees through which runs a curving rill. That rill continues, southward, through the rockery beds which lie behind the hedge on the west side of the drive. To the west of the rockery and rill is a broad grass walk with mature oaks down its west side which leads to the garden west of the Hall.

This west garden, largely lawn, is bordered to the north by a belt of coniferous trees and shrubs with further rockery beds to the front (south). The rill is carried through these, before entering the Ledwyche Brook which bounds the garden to the west. The Brook is crossed by a stone bridge of 1899, leading to a further lawn, shrubbery borders and a tennis court. On the east side of the bridge is a short, apsidal-ended terrace. Twenty metres east of the bridge, in the centre of the garden, is a pedimented brick summerhouse or orangery (listed grade II) of the mid to late C18. Immediately south of it is a small C20 swimming pool. About 10m east of this, in the angle of the house and the north/south terrace wall which retains the main south lawn, is the Rose Garden. This is a 20m square compartment, with brick walls to the west and south, and with a central, 5m tall, stone pillar. This occupies the site of a banqueting hall built by the Knights and demolished c 1875 by the Woods. Access between the west garden and the south lawn is via a monumental turning staircase (supposedly a copy of one at Haddon, Derbys, qv) of the late C19 from the south-east corner of the west garden. This leads up to a terrace walk with balustrade looking west, over the gardens either side of the Ledwyche to Mary Knoll beyond. At the south end of the terrace walk are bulbous bastions, one facing west and the other south, giving a view over the park.

To the east of the terrace walk stretches the formal lawn which runs along the south side of the greater part of the Hall. A mature Wellingtonia stands on the south-east corner of the lawn, which is bounded to the south, and divided from the park, by a ha-ha which runs eastward from the terrace walk. There is a broad gravel walk along the south front of the Hall, at the east end of which are wrought-iron gates on stone piers moved here in the later C20. The lawn continues east to the dovecote (listed grade II) and the walled gardens 150m east of the Hall.

Before the Woods bought Henley the gardens seem to have been arranged much as later, although with fewer architectural adornments. The latter ( the terraced balustrading, steps and bridge to the south of the Hall, and the hedged compartments to the north ( were introduced in the last quarter of the C19. The rockeries and rills were laid out by Pulhams c 1906.

PARK The parkland comprises two distinct, but conterminous, parts: the landscape park around the Hall, and the deer park which adjoins it to the south. The north-east part of the landscape park, either side of the drive, is divided into railed horse paddocks. Swan Cottage, a bungalow, stands on the back drive on the east side of this area. Otherwise the park is permanent pasture with considerable plantings of parkland and specimen trees, especially as a belt down the east side of the park, and west of the Ledwyche Brook.

The deer park, angular in outline and containing c 21ha, lies 250m south of the Hall. A ha-ha separates it from the parkland to the north. Only the northernmost section of the deer park is visible from the Hall. Here, on a slight knoll, is Park House (listed grade II), a later C18, two-storey brick summerhouse with a gabled, north-facing facade. The central door in this is reached via a raised approach. The first floor contains a reception room, partly panelled and provided with a fireplace. Park House was clearly intended to provide an eyecatcher from the Hall, although today the building is largely obscured by trees which have grown up to its north, which are part of an irregular belt running along the skyline and continuing the planting down the east side of the inner park and west of the Ledwyche. Park House lies 50m north of, and overlooks, the north-west corner of a 200m long triangular fishpond, retained by a dam at its west end. One hundred metres south of the east end of the pond is a mid to late C18 two-bay by two-bay brick deer shelter with hay loft and pyramidal tiled roof. This stands in a laund with mature parkland trees including, c 100m west of the shelter, a huge, veteran oak.

The date of the park's creation is unknown. Unmentioned in medieval sources and unmarked on John Rocque's county map of 1752 it may, therefore, have been created when Park House and the deer shelter were built, in the mid to late C18. This would suggest that the park's creation may have been among the improvements effected at Henley by Thomas Knight, who bought it in 1770. The park no longer contains deer.

KITCHEN GARDEN The kitchen garden, its brick walls dated 1778, stands 150m east of the Hall. The main compartment is semi-octagonal in plan. An C18 gardener's cottage stands against the west wall, while along the outside of the north wall are arcaded brick sheds of mid C19 date. In the 1960s Dower House, a single-storey brick house, was built in the interior and the south wall of the garden lowered to c 1m to give a view over the park. Running along the 90m long south side is a 15m wide outer compartment, in 1946 (CL) a walk with herbaceous borders called the Long Garden but now grass, added or rebuilt in the mid C19. Its south wall is only 1m high, and is surmounted with 2m tall iron railings. There is a central gateway into this compartment with apparently C18 brick piers.

Twenty metres south-west of the gardener's cottage is an C18 octagonal brick pigeon house.


W H Godfrey, Gardens in the Making (1914), fig 16 Trans Shropshire Archaeol Soc 48, (1934-5), pp 201-6 Country Life, 52 (16 August 1946), pp 302-5; (23 August 1946), pp 348-51 N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire (1958), pp 147-8

Maps Bitterley field name map, 1842 (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1883, published 1888 OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1884, published 1885 2nd edition surveyed 1902, published 1903

Description written: August 1998 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.

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