Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1001326
Date first listed: 02-May-1995
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Selattyn and Gobowen
National Grid Reference: SJ 27793 31316
Mid C19 terracing and formal gardens, and landscape park, forming the setting for a country house.
The estate of Porkington, as it was then known, passed by marriage to the Owen family in the early C17. On the death in 1792 of Robert Godolphin Owen the estate was inherited by his sister Margaret, wife of Owen Ormsby, of Willowbrook, Co Sligo. In 1815 her daughter and heiress Mary Jane Ormsby married William Gore of Woodford, Co Leitrim, MP for North Shropshire 1835-57. His son Ralph, who held the same parliamentary seat 1858-76, was created Baron Harlech. Brogyntyn, as the estate has been known since the later C19, remains (1999) in private hands.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Brogyntyn Park lies immediately to the north-west of the town of Oswestry, the mansion house standing in the centre of its park, and enjoying extensive views particularly out to the east. The park, a roughly triangular tract of land, lies between Mount Road and Oakhurst Road, running north-west (to Rhydycroesau) and north (to Selattyn) out of Oswestry respectively, with Whitewell Lane (an unclassified road off Mount Road to Pant-glas) forming the west boundary. The area here registered is c 230ha.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main entrance to the park was via Benjamin Gummow's arched gateway (listed grade II) of 1815 on Mount Road, the public road which leads north-west out from the town. The archway is flanked by lower square projections which provided accommodation for the lodge-keeper, with, to either side, wrought-iron railings terminating in subsidiary entrances. From here, a drive (no longer in use) runs c 1km north across the park, curving westwards to arrive at the south-east side of the Hall.
A second drive leads in from the north-east, from the mid C19 Oakhurst Lodge on Oakhurst Road, crossing the park to arrive at the north-west front of the Hall.
An approach from the north branches off the public road at the much-modernised Pentre-Dafydd Lodge. From here the drive runs across an extended arm of the park (bisected by Oakhurst Road) before crossing via a bridge (listed grade II) over a public lane to enter the main body of the park. From here it runs south before, 80m to the north of the Hall, joining with the east drive from the Oakhurst Road.
To the west, a back drive leads from Brogyntyn Home Farm, a large brick complex of c 1894, east through an informal avenue of early C20 limes, to the north-west side of the Hall.
Prior to the construction of Gummow's south entrance, the main approach had been via a lodge (demolished) on the Oswestry to Selattyn road. This still survived in 1840.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING Brogyntyn Hall (listed grade II*), in the C19 known as Porkington, stands in the centre of the park. It represents an 1814 (dated on rainwater heads) remodelling by Benjamin Gummow (fl 1799-1831) for Mary Jane Ormsby and her husband, William Gore, of the house built 1735-6 by Francis Smith (d 1738), for William Owen, which itself replaced an earlier house. The Hall has additions of c 1825, c 1870, and c 1906.
To the north-west of the Hall, a gateway (listed grade II) leads to an early C19 stable block (listed grade II) with, to the west, a number of outbuildings.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS Along the thirteen-bay, north-east front of the Hall is mid C19 balustraded terracing (listed grade II). At the south-east end of the lower terrace stands a gateway (listed grade II), with sandstone ashlar piers surmounted by ball finials and wrought-iron gates. Separating the gardens from the park is a ha-ha (listed grade II) running from the gate, across the principal, south-east-facing front.
Along the south-west side of the Hall is a low stone garden wall with steps of the same date and style as the main north-east terrace. In the late C19 a conservatory (no longer extant) ran between this and the Hall. West of the north-west corner of the Hall wrought-iron gates (listed grade II) give access from the surrounds of the Hall, across the main back drive leading south-west from the Hall, into the kitchen garden and the area to its west (now a coniferous plantation) where there was once a further formal garden with statuary (no longer extant).
PARK A stone wall, reputedly built by Napoleonic POWs, runs round the 6.5km perimeter of the park. This is at its tallest (c 2m) near Oswestry town. The main ornamental area of parkland, termed Lawn on the 1840 Tithe map and comprising grassland with parkland trees, occupies a c 400m to c 800m wide strip running south-east to north-west through the centre of the walled area. The undulating ground is subdivided by stone-walled ha-has with earth banks with internal ditches. Some of these earthworks, a notable example being 150m north-east of Castell Brogyntyn, are substantial and resemble medieval park pales.
From Gummow's south lodge a walk with fine views out to the east, the 'Terrace Walk', leads north-west through a serpentine band of pleasure grounds across the park to join with the pleasure grounds on the south-west side of the Hall. On an east-facing bluff on the Walk, 200m east of the building known as Lower Mount, now set within a coniferous plantation, is the site of a temple or seat with classical facade incorporating fluted pilasters and a pediment with dentilled decoration (now in ruins) from which there was a view across the park to Old Oswestry hillfort 3km to the east.
Two gates to either side of the back drive (see above), provide the link from the Terrace Walk to a walk (gravelled in the C19) north-west, through pleasure grounds divided from the park by low stone ha-has, to Castell Brogyntyn (scheduled ancient monument). This, 600m west-north-west of the Hall, is supposedly an Iron Age hillfort. It is however suspiciously symmetrical and may well have been rescarped in the C18. Its interior, within the ramparts which are planted with conifers, is very flat, and ?C19 accounts mention a bowling green here. This may have been created in the 1760s (Lord Harlech, pers comm 1994). The Walk is carried west, via a stone-lined tunnel, c 60m long with a midway kink, under the Castell mound, to a walk around the lake side.
Brogyntyn's two lakes, present by 1800, are formed by the damming of the stream down the Mill Dingle which runs from south to north along the western edge of the park. Both pools were overgrown and partly silted up in the late C20. Between the two is a substantial Pulhamite waterfall (present 1884), contrived of massive rocks formed into a grotto-like cliff face c 10m high. A rustic bridge (not extant) provided a crossing over the dam; at the south end of the south pool stood a boathouse (not extant). Between the west side of the upper lake and the public road stands Brogyntyn Cottage, the early C19 Swiss Cottage (listed grade II).
North of the Hall are concrete silage silos of c 1939.
The date when the park was established is not known, although it would seem likely that the Smith house of the 1730s was given an appropriate setting. By 1800 the park's extent was much as it was to be in the late C19 and C20 although then, as in 1840, as well as the farmland of Home Farm (the farm buildings of which, in the western part of the park, are a notable complex of the 1890s and early 1900s) south of the plantation along the Terrace Walk, much of the northern part of the park was still broken up into fields and farmed. It may be indicative of a gradual northward extension of the park in the later C18 that in 1840 the section between the Selattyn and Weston Rhyn roads, west of the Pentre-Dafydd Lodge, was called New Lawn.
KITCHEN GARDEN West of the Hall, and now set within a conifer plantation, is the brick-walled kitchen garden. At least on the north and west the garden walls are tall and of brick (strainers for fruit on exterior), the north wall being heated. Against the east wall is a gardeners' bothy. A curving outer perimeter concrete wall, 1.5m tall, is of the late C19. In the later C19 ranges of glasshouses lay immediately east of the walled area; in 1994 these were ruinous.
Montgomeryshire Collections 21, (1887), pp 89-102 S Leighton, Shropshire Houses Past and Present (1901), p 21 Country Life, 88 (3 August 1940), pp 109-10 T Mowl and B Earnshaw, Trumpet at a Distant Gate (1985), pl IX J E Hanson, Brogyntyn Estate, Selattyn, Shropshire. From 1800 to 1900, (unpublished dissertation, c 1993) [copy held in Shropshire Records and Research Centre] P A Stamper, Historic Parks and Gardens of Shropshire (1996), pp 60
Maps Brogyntyn, 1800 (5553/164), (Shropshire Records and Research Centre) C and J Greenwood, Map of Shropshire, 1827 Tithe map for Selattyn parish, 1840 (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1884 OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1874
Illustrations View of house, c 1760 [copy in Brogyntyn photographic file, Shropshire Records and Research Centre]
Archival items Brogyntyn vouchers etc 1860s-70s (800, boxes 57-8), (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)
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: 2443
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