Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Sutton (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 28257 64064


RUSKIN ROAD 1. 4430 CARSHALTON Grotto in Carshalton Park TQ 2864 SW 23/3 16.3.54. II 2. Early C18; in his description of the design for Carshalton House Leoni wrote "behind the House is a delicious Garden adorned with variety of Statues and Fountains, as also with a Canal of a very noble length and breadth, terminating in an ample and delightful Grotto, most artfully contrived and adorned with a great number of rarities, according to a curious design invented by the Master of the House himself". (See "Some designs for Buildings both Publick and Private" in Vol 3 of "The Architecture of Leoni Battista Alberti", translated by Leoni and published circa 1729). The outside of the grotto has symmetrical curved walls of brick ramped up gradually to the central peak and following the outline of the earth hill behind it. The splayed walls flanking the centre have plain segmental topped and backed alcoves, and the centre has 3 round-headed arches with wide rectangular "piers" between, the central arch being wider and taller than the others. The arches open into a rectangular vestibule with round-headed niches at the ends, and from here access is had to a large octagonal room with brick walls and cambered ceiling rising from a coved brick cornice. Facing the entrance inside is a segmental-headed and backed niche. Outside the grotto is the brick retaining wall of the long water. Decoration has disappeared. History. Carshalton Park was the seat of Sir William Scawen. Mascalls, the old manor house, was referred to by Aubrey in 1718 as "a handsome old house .... with behind it a fine garden adorned with reservoirs of water, also a long and pleasant walk of orange and lime trees and a wilderness", After the death of Sir William Scawen in 1723 plans were prepared by Giacomo Leoni, the celebrated architect of George I, for a new house; these came to nothing and the family moved to Stone Court and Woodcote Park. It is not at present known what happened to the old house, Mascalls. A possibly new house, with a front of late C18 to early C19 date is shown in a print of 1819. Most of the estate has now been built over, and the iron gates illustrated in Starkie Gardner's "Ironwork" have been removed to Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, Baltimore, now owned by New York University. The only features surviving apart from the landscape treatment of the Park are this grotto, the former orangery or garden temple in The Square, and sections of the Park Walls.

Listing NGR: TQ2825764064


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 17 Greater London


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

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 07 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/00227/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Robert Taverner. Source Historic England Archive
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