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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: 1189885



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

County: Northamptonshire

District: South Northamptonshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Castle Ashby

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: 235441

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.


CASTLE ASHBY CASTLE ASHBY PARK SP8659 13/41 The Menagerie 03/05/68

- II*

Garden building. Begun 1761 (contract signed October 1761), certainly no later than 1774, with alterations of c.1840 to rear. Limestone ashlar, lead and slate roofs. Tripartite plan. Single storey; 7 bays. Central 5-bay segmental portico with 4 Tuscan columns and pilasters either end approached by 3 moulded stone steps. Triple-stepped bases to columns which bear plain frieze with paterae above columns and to centre of lintels, deep moulded cornice with elements of Roman Doric cornice, blocking cornice, and cast-iron ogee-section gutter to base of lead-covered dome. Dome has slight ogee profile and is crowned by dragon supporter bearing armorial shield, both of lead. Curved rear wall of portico, with different radius to that of portico, forms elliptical space and is divided into 5 bays by pilasters supporting frieze with paterae. Round-headed niches to upper level of 3 central bays containing bronzed plaster busts, casts after the antique, one of which is now missing. Stone-paved floor to portico, fitted wood bench within and low cast-iron railings between columns with gate to central bay. Single-bay wings either side, slightly set back with round-arched sash windows set in shallow round-arched recesses. Portico cornice is continued over wings, with blocking cornices with recumbant lions looking out either end. Brick cottage to rear extensively altered or rebuilt c.1840. Design of Menagerie is attributed to Lancelot "Capability" Brown for 8th Earl of Northampton. Brown's plan for the landscaping of the park, begun 1764, in Castle Ashby archives, shows no building on site of Menagerie. Robert Adam's plan for improvements to the park of 1760 does however show a garden temple near the site, although the building shown on the plan has no particular resemblance to the Menagerie. As executed it is notably more advanced in its neo-classical design than Brown's Kentian-style Dairy (q.v.). (Castle Ashby park and gardens are included with HBMC Register of Parks and Gardens for Northamptonshire at Grade I; Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: 1973, p144; Castle Ashby Archives; Lucinda Lambton "Beastly Buildings": the National Trust book of Architecture for Animals: 1985, p142)

Listing NGR: SP8683059378

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Architecture for Animals, (1985), 142
Lambton, L, Beastly Buildings, (1985)
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, (1973), 144
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 30 Northamptonshire,

National Grid Reference: SP 86830 59378


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End of official listing