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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1041554



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Northamptonshire

District: South Northamptonshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hackleton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 03-May-1968

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 235513

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


HACKLETON HORTON SP85SW 8/113 The Menagerie 03/05/68

- II*

Garden building. Late 1750s by Thomas Wright (attributed) for 2nd Earl of Halifax. Restored 1975-1979 and 1980-82 wheh extended. Limestone ashlar, slate roofs, brick end stack to rear. Central block, end pavilions and screen wall links. single-storey, 13-bay range. Centre breaks forward slightly and has open pediment and canted bay with semi-domed roof, originally of lead with raised vermiculated panels, now reproduced in fibre-glass. Bay has central part-panelled and glazed door with round-arched head and frostwork keyblock and sash windows to canted sides with similar heads and keyblocks. Centre is approached by grass mound and is flanked by lower bays with half-pediments and lean-to roofs. They each have a 12-pane sash with blocked surrounds and heads, vermiculation to keyblocks, blank balustrades to bases and pediments. Moulded plinth, a sill band, band at level and springing of bay window and door heads and base moulding of half-pediments carried across centre as string course, and continued as moulding across canted bay at base of blocking cornice. Blank panel with feet to central pediment. 3-bay screen walls either side have round-arched gateways flanked by niches with frostwork keyblocks. The gateway bays break forward slightly. Gateways have raised and blocked surrounds with vermiculation, frost work and dropped key blocks. End pavilions have small square windows with oversize blocked surrounds, frostwork to base panel and blocking and pyramidal roofs with ball-and-spear finials. The ashlar facing is of local limestone with better quality limestone dressings, possibly of Ketton stone. Extensions one room deep have been built behind screen walls, whose archways are now glazed and pavilions have been duplicated in rendered brick to rear. Rear elevation of main block is of red brick in English bond. Side bays projects forward to this side with hipped roofs and frame terrace approached by steps, with steps down to basement. Centre has pair of round-headed niches at terrace level. Bays either side were originally windowless with doorways to terrace on inner return sides, but now have sash windows inserted c.1980. Trellis screens to new wings either side of same date. Interior: saloon has fine plasterwork probably by Thomas Roberts of Oxford, restored by Christopher Hobbs and Leonard Stead and Son of Bradford. Saloon has "aisles" with openings to main space framed by fluted Roman boric columns supporting full entablature to lintels with triglyph frieze and martial emblems to metopes. The openings are flanked by niches which originally held "four great urns, representing the animals of the four parts of the world, made of plaster, painted to look like bronze" (Walpole). These have been recreated. Bas-relief panels over niches with trophies of weapons appropriate to each of the Four Continents. Dado with egg-and-dart to base, continued round base of columns, and wave pattern to rail. Cornice of entablature to columns is continued round room below deep cove with medallions hung by bows bearing symbols of the Zodiac and framed by sprays matched to each symbol. The summer signs are over window wall, midwinter sign over chimneypiece. Ceiling shows Father Time with sythe and holding symbol of Eternity with the Four Winds to each corner of ceiling. Apollo's head in sunburst to ceiling of bay. Acanthus scrolls and cornucopia to angles of cove. Chimneypiece of hard plaster painted to resemble porphyry with central panel bearing laurel wreath. Pedimented overmantel framing glass. Bay opposite has garlands over windows and door and drops either side with musical instruments. Side-rooms have rosettes to ceilings of vestibule alcoves leading to terrace doors. Central doors have been pierced in walls facing openings to saloon, where, side-boards may originally have stood. The Saloon was originally used as a banqueting room and music probably played in the bay. Basement where food was probably originally prepared has brick groin vault to main room below saloon. The menagerie itself was housed behind the building, which was designed both as banqueting house and eyecatcher for Horton House (demolished), in a circular enclosure just over 2 acres in extent and described by Horace Walpole in 1763 as "a little wood, prettily disposed with many basons of gold fish". Four of those circular ponds survive and a garden in the manner of Thomas Wright laid out on the site. The Menagerie has been attributed in the past to Daniel Garrett, but can confidently be ascribed to Wright who received payments from Lord Halifax in 1754, 1756 and 1757. (Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: 1973, p264; Alistair Rowan: Garden Buildings, R.I.B.A.: Drawings series 1968, plate 18; Gervase Jackson-Stops: The Menagerie, Horton: 1983 (guide); Lucinda Lambton: "Beastly Buildings": The National Trust Book of Architecture for Animals: 1985, p152)

Listing NGR: SP8227053472

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Architecture for Animals, (1985)
Jackson Stops, G, The Menagerie Horton, (1983)
Lambton, L, Beastly Buildings, (1985)
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, (1973), 264
Rowan, A, 'Garden Buildings Drawing Series' in Garden Buildings Drawing Series, (1968)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 30 Northamptonshire,

National Grid Reference: SP 82270 53472


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End of official listing