Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1001242
Date first listed: 01-Sep-1987
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 25760 70912
A late C18 park including woodland and parkland originating from the late C17, surrounding a house built in the 1680's. The Manor together with its Park and Gardens are not open to the public.
Believed to be see of the Bishops of Ramsbury in C10 and C11 until it was moved to Salisbury 1075-1078 (VCH). Granted to Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford 1545, Duke of Somerset 1547, and William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke 1552. The latter sold it to Henry Powle, lawyer and politician 1676-7. 1681 Powle sold it to Sir William Jones, who had the Manor House rebuilt by Robert Hooke but retained the existing stable block.
Improvements to the Manor and Park continued during the latter half of C18 under the ownership of Sir William Langham Jones (1766-1791). By 1775 the lake with ornamental bridge at eastern end, park extensions (N and E), entrance drive extension, new pair of Lodges with late C17 gatepiers from elsewhere on the estate and the Orangery (on the south front of the Manor (1775) had been built. C19-C20, the Manor saw little change, staying in the same family through marriage to the Burdett family until sold in 1951 to the Earl of Wilton and next to Sir William Rootes, who sold it in 1964-5. The Manor remains in private ownership, together with its Park and Gardens.
LOCATION AREA BOUNDARIES LANDFORM SETTING A site of c 62 ha, 5 miles northeast of Marlborough, sloping gently to the southeast to the River Kennet which runs through the southern half of the site. The southern boundary of the site is formed by woodlands, The Plantation and to the far south by Cutnights. The northern boundary follows the Bank-pale on White Hill.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main entrance to Ramsbury Manor lies along White Hill to the east of the site. It is marked by late C18 wrought iron gates, a set of gate piers of c1680, and two late C18 flanking lodges (all listed grade II*).
PRINCIPAL BUILDING The Manor (listed grade I), is situated in the centre of the site, c 50m north of the lake. The two storey, brick house, with attics and basement has a hipped roof and is adorned by 24 pane sashes with stone architraves. Circa 200m northeast of the Manor is a mid C17 timber framed stableblock with a brick façade (listed Grade II).
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS c8ha, laid to lawn, extends to the north, west and south of the Manor. It is separated from the park by a late C18, brick ha ha. To the southwest of the Manor, along the lakeside, is an area known as the Wilderness (Andrews and Dury's map of Wiltshire, 1773), situated immediately northeast of the walled garden. Within this area is a late C18 or early C19 rustic Bath House (Tithe map, 1839), built of brick and flint. To the southwest of the Bath House lies the Fisherman's Hut, a small rustic building probably dating from the late C18 or early C19.
PARK The park surrounds the Manor and its Pleasure Gardens on all sides. To the west lies Old Park Wood, dating back to late C17 (Walgrave's survey, 1676), to the north a thin belt of trees planted in late C18 when the park was extended north and eastwards. The lake, created in the late C18, runs through the full width of the park from the southwest to the northeast. In the centre of the southern park stands the late C18 or early C19 Manor Cottage (Tithe map, 1839), screened by a small piece of woodland. By the late C19, the southern strip of parkland was in use as a Horse Race, with a pavilion (now (2002) no longer there) standing towards its eastern end.
KITCHEN GARDENS The late C18 kitchen garden (Andrew's and Dury's Map of Wiltshire) of c 2ha, stands c 500m to the southwest of the Manor, and is enclosed by brick walls of c 2m high. Enclosure formally laid out as ornamental flower garden and central lily pond. A walled garden, situated on the site of the current walled garden, is indicated on William Walgrave's survey of Ramsbury dated 1676.
Country Life, 22 (10 August 1907), pp 198-205; 48 (2 October 1920), pp 432-39; 130 (? 1961), pp 1376-80, p 1526 & pp 1580-83; 157 (23 January 1975), pp 194-95 The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire xii, (1983), pp19-22 B Cherry and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Wiltshire (1985 reprinted 2nd ed), pp 379-381
Maps W Walgrave, The Number of Acres answering to each figure in this plott being parte of Mannoar Ramsbury, as it was measured in November 1676 for Henry Powle Esqr. , 16 pole in 1 inch, 1676 (Copy held in Wiltshire Record Office, Trowbridge, original in private collection) Andrews and Dury, Map of Wiltshire, 1773 (Wiltshire Record Office) Tithe map for Ramsbury, 1839 (Wiltshire Record Office, Trowbridge)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition 1889 OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition 1889
Illustrations JP Neale, Views, vol 5 (1822) Several photographs of Ramsbury Manor are held in the Photographic Collection, Wiltshire Reference Library, Trowbridge J Warrender, An Elevated View of Ramsbury Manor, Wiltshire, From above the Kitchen Garden with the House in the Middle Distance, 1992 (private collection, printed in J Harris, The Artist and the Country House (1996), p 164)
Description written: October 2004 Register Inspector: PAS
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 2250
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