Mid C18 gardens, pleasure grounds and park with landscape structures, owned and constructed by Sanderson Miller.
In 1086 there were three estates at Radway, the largest of which was held by Coventry Cathedral Priory. This passed in the mid C12 to the monks of Stoneleigh Abbey (qv) and was administered from Edge Grange on the slopes of Edge Hill; a further grange was situated at Radway at the foot of the Hill (VCH). At the Dissolution the monastic property was sold piecemeal, with Radway Grange being purchased by Francis Goodyere in 1545. In 1554 it was conveyed to Walter Lyght, whose daughter married Robert Washington of Sulgrave Manor, Northamptonshire (qv) in 1564. Radway passed to their third son, Walter, whose son in turn sold it to William Goodwyn in the early C17. In 1685 the estate formed part of a settlement on the marriage of Thomas Goodwyn and Elizabeth Wainwright. Thomas Goodwyn became bankrupt in 1691, and in 1715 Radway Grange, comprising 70 acres (c 29ha) of enclosed land and 240 acres (100ha) in the common fields, was sold by Private Act of Parliament to Sanderson Miller, a merchant from Banbury. Sanderson Miller died in 1737, leaving the property to his surviving son, also Sanderson Miller (1716-80). The younger Miller was a noted amateur architect who advised on architectural and landscape work at estates including Hagley (qv) and Croome Court (qv) in Worcestershire and Wroxton Abbey, Oxfordshire (qv). In Warwickshire, Miller advised on improvements at Alscot Park (qv), Arbury Hall (qv), Farnborough Hall (qv), Honington Hall (qv) and other estates. From 1739 Miller undertook a programme of improvement on his own property at Radway which is partially recorded in his surviving diaries for 1749-50 and 1756, and in his correspondence (WCRO; J Garden Hist 1987; Garden Hist 1997). An Enclosure Act for Radway was obtained in 1757 enabling Miller to consolidate his property and extend the ornamental landscape around the house. Miller suffered a mental collapse in 1759, and despite a partial recovery, gave up most of his work. Miller entertained a wide circle of friends and associates at Radway in the mid C18, including William Pitt, William Shenstone and Bishop Pococke. Miller's achievements were commemorated by his neighbour, the poet Richard Jago in his poem Edge Hill (1767), and may have inspired his friend, Henry Fielding, in the description of Squire Allworthy's estate in Tom Jones (1748) (J Garden Hist 1987). After his death in 1780, Radway passed to his son, Fiennes Sanderson Miller (d 1818), and thence to his grandson, Lt Col F S Miller, who fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Radway remained the property of the Miller family until 1916; it then changed hands several times in the early C20. Henry Fenwick, who purchased the estate in 1922, employed the architect Percy Morley Horder, who worked at neighbouring Upton House (qv), to make alterations to the house and garden. The property was sold again in 1925 to Col Starkey, whose family owned the estate until 1975. Radway has changed hands several times in the late C20, and today (2000) remains in divided private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Radway Grange is situated in the centre of the village of Radway at the foot of the Edge Hill escarpment, some 3km south-east of Kineton. The c 45ha site comprises some 3ha of gardens around the house, c 19ha of park, and c 23ha of woodland with walks and ornamental structures on the west-facing slope of Edge Hill. To the east and south-east the site is bounded by a minor road which follows the crest of the escarpment, while to the north-west it is bounded by the main street of Radway. To the north the site adjoins the gardens of a domestic property, Ivy Lodge, while to the north and south-west it adjoins agricultural land from which it is separated by hedges. The site occupies a steep, west-facing slope forming part of the Edge Hill escarpment, a prominent south Warwickshire landmark. There are wide views to the west across the Vale of the Red Horse from the park, the woodland walks on the upper slope, and Miller's gothic Tower on the summit of Edge Hill. There are further views south-west along the escarpment and north-east towards the Burton Dassett Hills.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
Radway Grange is approached from the village street c 160m east-north-east of the parish church. The entrance is formed by low stone walls set at right-angles to the gravelled drive. The drive extends c 70m south-west and is flanked to the south-east by a narrow lawn, beyond which a stone wall c 3m high encloses the kitchen garden. Some 25m south-west of the entrance a mid C18 stone statue of Caractacus in chains (listed grade II) stands against the wall. The statue was carved by James Lovell c 1756 and was intended for a niche in the upper room in the Tower on Edge Hill. The figure, inspired by the frontispiece of John Speed's Theatrum Imperii Magnae Britanniae (1610), was too large to fit the niche, and since the mid C18 has stood in various places in the gardens (Collection towards a History of Radway, 1854; CL 1946). To the north-west the drive adjoins level lawns planted with mixed specimen trees. Turning sharply south-east the drive passes through a gabled, two-storey stone gatehouse (listed grade II) which was created c 1922 by P Morley Horder (CL 1946), to enter a gravelled entrance court. The court, formed from the stable yard by Morley Horder in the early C20, is enclosed to the east by a cobbled terrace and the C17 stables (listed grade II), which are joined to the main house to the south by a wing built by Morley Horder (ibid). To the south-west the court is enclosed by a stone wall in which a wrought-iron gate set in a rusticated stone mid C18 doorway (all listed grade II) leads to the gardens. Raised beds are retained by drystone walls, while to the west and north-west lawns extend to borders below the stone kitchen garden walls (listed grade II). Topiary yew birds stand adjacent to the walls, while to the north-west the gabled C17 dovecote (listed grade II) adjoins a service drive which leads east to further stables and thence south-east to the park.
Prior to the creation of Morley Horder's early C20 gatehouse and entrance on the north facade of the house, the entrance was situated on the west facade. The drive extended south-west to reach a large carriage circle on the west side of the house. This arrangement is shown on a late C19 watercolour (WCRO), and the late C19 OS map. George Salmon's General Map of Radway Field (1756) does not show the west drive in any detail.
A further drive enters the site from the Tower at the summit of Edge Hill, c 720m south-east of the house. This drive, today (2000) a steep, rough track, descends through woodland on the escarpment north-east for c 130m before turning sharply west to enter the park. The drive continues as a grassy track north-west through the park, turning sharply north-east c 320m south-east of the house before resuming a course north-west to reach the service quarters and stables north-east of the house. This drive, developed by Miller in the mid C18 from an earlier track linking Radway and Edge Granges, is unlikely to have been used as a carriage approach due to its steep gradient (J Meir pers comm, 2000); it provided a link between the house and the Tower on Edge Hill, and access for riders and light carriages coming from Banbury (J Garden Hist 1987).
Radway Grange (listed grade II*) stands on level ground below the foot of Edge Hill, towards the northern boundary of the site. The three-storey house is approximately square on plan, and is constructed in Hornton stone. The south, west and north facades retain Elizabethan gables with ball finials, while the east facade, which was built by Sanderson Miller before 1746 (Tyack 1994) comprises a pedimented centrepiece with tall gothic windows. The pediment was formerly flanked by pinnacles, while there were further pinnacles at the corners of the house and above the south facade; these were removed in the late C19. The south facade has a pair of two-storey symmetrical canted bay windows built in 1746 flanking a gothic doorcase constructed by Miller in 1752 (ibid). The bay windows have panels of gothic ornamentation, while a star-shaped relief is placed high above the central door. The west facade, the entrance front until the house was remodelled by P Morley Horder in the 1920s, has a single-storey mid C18 gothic loggia designed by Miller which is surmounted by a reused Elizabethan gable (Pevsner and Wedgewood 1966). The north facade contains the early C20 entrance built by Morley Horder, and is linked to the C17 stables to the north-east by a two-storey north-east wing which was also built by Horder. Beneath this wing, and open to the courtyard to the west, is a stone-lined water cistern.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
Formal gardens lie immediately to the west and east of the house, with lawns and informal pleasure grounds to the south and west. An irregular-shaped pond fed by water piped under the house from Edge Hill lies c 50m west of the house, with a mid C20 conifer and yew hedge and a belt of mixed specimen trees screening the gardens from the village street beyond. To the south-west of the pond an early C20 rock garden constructed from limestone incorporates an artificial stream. The pond is separated from early and late C20 formal gardens adjacent to the house by informal lawns; a late C20 rectangular, stone-edged swimming pool is aligned from north to south below the formal garden. To the north of the lawn, beneath a pair of mature yews, the late C18 Chatham Urn (listed grade II) stands on a square stone pedestal. The rounded urn is covered by a stone lid and has handles to each side (one missing, 2000), and lacks its base which was originally of timber (CL 1946). The urn was given to Sanderson Miller in 1779 by Thomas Pitt, later Lord Camelford, of Boconnoc, Cornwall (qv), to commemorate the planting in the park at Radway of a group of trees by William Pitt in 1754. The urn was moved from the park in 1908 to its present position, when an inscription relating to the tree planting was discovered in its hollow interior (ibid). The formal garden below the west facade of the house comprises a gravelled upper terrace, retained by stone walls, which connects with a wrought-iron gate set in the entrance court wall to the north. A shallow flight of stone steps descends to a wide, stone-flagged walk flanked by herbaceous borders. A further flight of stone steps descends to the lawn and swimming pool. The terrace, stone-flagged walk and herbaceous borders replaced the C19 carriage circle, and were laid out by Morley Horder in the early 1920s (ibid); the herbaceous borders have been replanted in the late C20 by Rupert Golby (Mr Richards pers comm, 2000).
South of the house a lawn is separated from the park by a mid C18 drystone ha-ha (listed grade II) which was constructed by Miller. The ha-ha sweeps in an arc east and north to enclose the gardens east of the house, before turning east to enclose the topiary garden to the north-east. The formal garden below the east facade comprises a square enclosure bounded to the west and north by the house, and to the south and east by low yew hedges. The garden is divided into quarters by cruciform stone-flagged walks which converge on a central, raised octagonal stone basin. The quarters are laid out with a parterre of box ribbons and spires on a gravel base. This late C20 east garden designed by Rupert Golby (Mr Richards pers comm, 2000) replaces a formal rose garden laid out by Morley Horder in the early C20 (CL 1946) which had as its central feature an early C18 baluster sundial (listed grade II; absent 2000). To the north-east of the east garden, a late C20 gravelled sitting area leads to a gravel walk extending c 50m north-east parallel to the ha-ha to reach the park; there are wide views south and south-west across the park from this walk. To the north, a yew hedge separates the walk from the early C20 topiary garden. A group of yews are clipped into a variety of geometric and fantastic shapes, including birds, a castle and a bust of William Shakespeare (ibid). The topiary was created c 1920 from an existing shrubbery (ibid) which may relate to planting shown east of the stables on Salmon's map (1756).
An area of late C20 informal pleasure grounds lies to the south-west of the south lawn, and south of the pond. Separated from the park by late C20 metal estate fencing, this area comprises a late C20 hard tennis court c 50m south-west of the house, together with late C20 ancillary buildings, with areas of informal tree planting designed by Rupert Golby. Further areas of late C20 tree planting adjoin a track which extends c 130m south-south-west to a gate on Church Lane. The track continues c 80m south-east to reach a further gate leading to the park.
The park lies on the lower, west-facing slope of Edge Hill to the south-east of Radway Grange and incorporates the remains of mid C18 pleasure grounds created by Sanderson Miller. Today (2000) the park remains pasture with scattered mature deciduous trees and groups of trees concentrated on the upper slope. Lord Chatham's Trees, a clump comprising two Scots pines and a mountain ash planted by William Pitt, later Earl of Chatham in 1754 c 50m south-east of the house, do not survive; the Chatham Urn, now in the west garden, stood under these trees from 1779 until 1908. Some 200m south-east of the house, the park is divided from north-east to south-west by a late C20 timber post and rail fence set in a late C20 ha-ha. Two further parallel ditches run from north-east to south-west across the park c 530m and c 670m south-east of the house; these ditches may be associated with a late C16 or early C17 park associated with Radway Grange (Miller 1900; J Meir pers comm, 2000). The park attained its present size as a result of the Enclosure in 1757, when land c 500m east-south-east of the house was taken in. This area is today distinguished from the earlier park to the south by ridge and furrow. A bank running south-east from the corner of a plantation c 240m east-south-east of the house marks the former boundary.
A raised bank running parallel to the south-west boundary of the park ascends c 190m south-east to an overgrown, roughly circular pool. The bank continues south-east and parallel to the park boundary for c 270m to the boundary of woodland on the upper slopes of Edge Hill. The banks represent the remains of a boundary walk laid out by Miller in the mid C18 which would have enjoyed views north across the park and south-west across the Vale of the Red Horse. Salmon's map (1756) indicates that the walk was in part through shrubbery. Some 600m south-east of the house, a rectangular pool aligned from south-east to north-west and flanked by a single row of mature limes lies adjacent to the upper boundary of the park. The pool was created by Sanderson Miller in 1739 as a reservoir to supply water features on the slope below. Some 50m north-west and below the pool, a Hornton stone obelisk (listed grade II), erected in 1834 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo and Col F S Miller's command of the VIth Inniskilling Dragoons, stands on a circular mound, the outer edge of which is planted with a single row of mature limes and oaks. There is a significant tree-framed vista to the house from the summit of the mound. The mound formed part of Miller's pleasure ground and appears to have been surrounded by semicircular arrangements of trees or shrubs (Salmon, 1756); Miller refers to roses growing at the mount in 1750 (J Garden Hist 1987). Below and to the south-east of the mound a horseshoe-shaped depression leads into a further narrow depression which extends c 50m north-west to a sharp drop in level where there are some fragments of exposed stone. This sharp drop represents Miller's cascade, constructed in 1739, which, according to a letter from Shenstone in 1750 (Williams 1939), incorporated a jetteau or fountain (J Garden Hist 1987). To the north-east of the site of the cascade, a patch of brambles corresponds to the site of the St Thomas' Well marked by Salmon on his map of 1756. A plantation of deciduous trees c 190m north-west of the obelisk and c 400m south-east of the house contains a rectangular monastic pool. Known as the Long Pool and aligned from north-east to south-west, the pool was adapted by Miller as the lowest feature in the mid C18 water garden. Salmon (1756) shows the detached pleasure grounds at the upper end of the park enclosed within hedges or shrubbery; these do not survive.
To the north-east the park is bounded by a narrow plantation through which a stream flows north-west from woodland on the upper slope of Edge Hill. This plantation formed a mid C18 boundary walk which followed the stream and is similar to other examples by Miller at Farnborough Hall and Wroxton Abbey (qqv) (J Meir pers comm, 2000). The boundary plantation turns sharply south-west adjacent to the south-east boundary of Ivy Lodge, and today terminates to the north-east of an area of paddock c 270m east-south-east of the house. In the late C19 the plantation continued along the south-east boundary of the paddock to connect with shrubbery c 240m south-east of the house, adjacent to a pond and an early C20 timber barn (OS). A late C20 manege has been constructed on the site of the shrubbery to the north of the pond, and is surrounded by young trees and shrubs.
The kitchen garden lies c 50m north of the house, immediately to the north of the entrance court. Enclosed to the west and south-west by high stone walls, the inner faces of which are lined with brick, the garden is entered from the drive to the north-west of the early C20 gatehouse through an C18 rusticated arch which is closed by an early C20 wrought-iron gate. A further entrance closed by late C20 wrought-iron gates leads from the stable court north of the dovecote. To the north the garden is enclosed by a cottage, while to the east it is adjoined by the stables and dovecote. A late C20, single-storey, octagonal tile-roofed shelter and toilet is built into the south-west wall to the east of the entrance arch. The garden remains in full cultivation and is divided unequally in two by a brick path surmounted by gothic rose arches which runs west from the entrance adjacent to the dovecote. To the north the garden is laid out with espalier fruit trees separated by narrow grass paths while to the south four vegetable beds are separated by cruciform grass paths which converge on an octagonal late C20 stone font. Fruit trees are trained against the west wall. The present kitchen garden corresponds to Miller's mid C18 kitchen garden which was probably created after 1756 when cottages or buildings to the west were cleared.
The site includes ornamental woodland, walks and landscape structures on the upper slopes of Edge Hill. Some 720m south-east of the house the Tower (listed grade II*) stands on the crest of the escarpment, forming a prominent landmark within the estate and beyond across south Warwickshire. A sham castle designed by Sanderson Miller and built in 1745-7, the Tower was inspired by Guy's Tower at Warwick Castle (qv), and was intended to commemorate the spot on which the Royal standard was raised before the Battle of Edge Hill (1642) (Miller 1900). The Tower is octagonal on plan and rises through five storeys, with a crenellated parapet. The lower storeys are lit by lancet windows, while an octagonal saloon or ballroom on the upper floor is lit by tall gothic windows which contained armorial stained glass (now, 2000, removed). This vaulted room, the culmination of Miller's landscape (J Garden Hist 1987), was decorated with gothic plasterwork and a heraldic scheme incorporating the arms of Miller's friends (Garden Hist 1997), part of which scheme survives today. A C19 two-storey gothic extension adjoins the Tower to the south, with further C19 and C20 additions to the south-west which provide accommodation for the public house which has occupied the Tower since c 1900. To the east of the Tower, and connected to it by a timber footbridge (rebuilt late C20), a gatehouse (listed grade II) comprises a ramped approach from the east which passes between flanking walls (reconstructed late C20) to reach a pair of square-section towers. The south tower rises through three storeys with a crenellated parapet, while the north tower today terminates in a sloping tile roof, but was designed as a ruin (Jago 1767; Garden Hist 1987). The gatehouse was designed and built by Miller in 1750 to serve as a more convenient approach to the ballroom in the Tower, which had originally been entered from the ground floor. Today the Tower and gatehouse stand in late C20 gardens comprising lawns and ornamental shrubs. Some 50m north-east of the Tower, Egge Cottage (listed grade II*), a two-storey stone cottage with gothic windows, was Miller's first landscape building at Radway (Pevsner and Wedgewood 1966; Garden Hist 1997); constructed in 1743-4 it was used as a private retreat. Considerably altered in the early and mid C20, the cottage as built was thatched and of lower elevation, creating a picturesque effect. The group of structures on the summit of Edge Hill was completed by further ruins including an arch and round turret on the south-east side of the road opposite the Tower (J Garden Hist 1987). These ruins do not survive and their site is now a car park.
The mid C18 drive which descends the escarpment adjacent to the Tower joins a level terrace which extends c 270m north-east along the upper boundary of the park. The terrace is in part planted with mature horse chestnuts, and c 100m north-east of its junction with the drive, a semicircular bastion, now heavily overgrown, projects into the park. The terrace was constructed by Miller in 1739 (Garden Hist 1997), and is shown on Salmon's map (1756) to connect with the detached pleasure ground and water garden to the west; to the north-east it connected with the northern boundary walk. The terrace is today continued by a track which leads c 800m north-north-east through deciduous woodland on Edge Hill to join the B4086 road at Knowle End c 1km north-east of the house. This track forms part of Miller's post-enclosure extension of the designed landscape and led to a dramatically sited clump of trees on a spur of high ground at Knowle End which was planted in 1743 (J Garden Hist 1997). Remnants of a further walk lined by a single row of mature beech trees survives on the crest of the escarpment to the north-east of the Tower, while other paths survive as public footpaths through the woods. Miller improved existing woodland on the upper slopes of Edge Hill from the early 1740s, introducing ornamental and specimen trees such as beech in place of coppiced ash (ibid).
A further walk leads south-west from the terrace above the park. Some 80m south-west of the terrace a level semicircular bastion, the outer, western side of which is planted with a single row of mature limes, is the site of a circular summerhouse marked on Salmon's map (1756). Some 130m beyond the site of the summerhouse, and at a lower level adjacent to the park boundary, rubble survives from a small mid C18 rectangular barn or stable which had an ornamental gothic facade in stucco (J Meir pers comm, 2000). The walk continues for c 500m south-west through woodland to join King John's Lane c 1km south of the house. Now consistently wooded, in the mid C18 this area included open ground such as the Wood Close, a favourite destination for Miller's excursions (J Garden Hist 1987).
R Jago, Edge Hill (1767), pp 2-3
J J Cartwright (ed), The Travels through England of Dr Richard Pococke ... during 1750, 1751 (1888-9)
G Miller, Rambles Round the Edge Hills (2nd edn 1900), pp 18-31
L Dickens and M Stanton, An Eighteenth Century Correspondence (1910)
M Williams, The Letters of William Shenstone (1939), pp 252-4
Country Life, 100 (6 September 1946), pp 440(3; (13 September 1946), pp 486-9
Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire V, (1949), pp 142-4
N Pevsner and A Wedgewood, The Buildings of England: Warwickshire (1966), pp 379-80
H W Hawkes, Sanderson Miller of Radway 1716(1780, architect, (unpub dissertation Univ of Cambridge 1964) [copy at Warwickshire County Record Office]
J Garden History 7, no 2 (1987), pp 103-23
G Tyack, Warwickshire Country Houses (1994), pp 162-5
Garden History 25, no 1 (1997), pp 81-106
H Beighton, A Mapp of Warwickshire, 1" to 1 mile, surveyed 1722-5, published 1729
H Beighton, A Map of Kington Hundred, surveyed 1725, published 1730
G Salmon, A General Map of Radway Field, 1756 (CR1596/197), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
W Yates and Sons, Map of Warwickshire, surveyed 1787(9, published 1793
S G Wallsgrove, Reconstruction of the 1757 Radway Inclosure Award, 1997 (Warwickshire County Record Office)
OS Old Series 1" to 1 mile, published 1834
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1885, published 1886
2nd edition published 1905
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886
2nd edition published 1905
3rd edition published 1922
Drawing, View of Radway Grange from the south-east, c 1746 (CR1382/41), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Drawing, Edge Hill, Castle and ruins from below, c 1770 (CR462), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Drawings, Series of views including Egge Cottage, Edge Hill Castle ruins, and east facade of Radway Grange, early C19 (interleaved in A Beesley, The History of Banbury (1841), Banbury Library)
H O Souter, Three views of Radway Grange: west facade, vista from the obelisk, east facade, 1878 (CR1382/42), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Photograph, Edge HillTower, c 1900 (BB70/7807), (NMR)
Miller family papers including Sanderson Miller's diaries (CR1382), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Building accounts for Radway (CR125B), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Collection Towards a History of Radway, 1854 (Z291), (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Personal communication from Jennifer Meir
Description written: March 2000
Amended: May 2000
Register Inspector: JML
Edited: January 2001