South Ormsby Park


Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
South Ormsby Hall, South Ormsby, Lincolnshire, LN11 8QS


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Statutory Address:
South Ormsby Hall, South Ormsby, Lincolnshire, LN11 8QS

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

East Lindsey (District Authority)
South Ormsby cum Ketsby
National Grid Reference:


C18 landscape park.

Reasons for Designation

South Ormsby Park, an C18 landscape park, is registered at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: it is a well preserved example of an C18 landscape park designed to emulate the prevailing tastes of the period, and provide an eminently suitable setting for a country house of some distinction; * Preservation: the key elements of the designed landscape, such as the Lime Walk, serpentine lake, and walled garden all still remain, together with many specimen trees and planned vistas; * Group value: together with the Grade II*-listed Hall and other Grade II-listed buildings on the estate, the park forms an ensemble of historical significance that aptly demonstrates the aesthetic quality associated with the Georgian period.


There has been a house of some status at South Ormsby Park since the medieval period. The land was owned by the Skipworth family until 1638 when it was purchased by Sir Drayner Massingberd who started to build a house sometime afterwards. It was extended and altered in the early C18 for Burrell Massingberd, and then re-fronted by James Paine in 1750-52. The house was altered and extended by Peter Atkinson & Sons in 1803, and again by Swann & Norman in 1927.

The landscape around South Ormsby Hall was enclosed between 1650 and 1651. A survey of the manor carried out for Burrell Massingberd in 1716 states that there was a ‘House, gardens, orchard, nursery, motes, the garden, the paddock, walnut yards, stewponds, Garth and […] green’. The survey depicts an avenue running southwards from the house. The moat referred to is thought to be the short arm on the west side of the lake which, together with a beck, provided the water for this feature. A memorandum dated 18 April 1721 between the Ormsby estate and the Church stated that ‘a new park is lately made in Ormsby and part of the paling runs near the ancient churchyard fence’ (W O Massingberd, A History of Ormsby, 1893).

In 1749 William Burrell Massingberd commissioned plans to redesign the parkland from Edward Gardner of Dunston. Gardner produced designs for Scremby Hall, near Skegness, and for a Georgian Pleasure Garden around Dunston Pillar, near Lincoln. His work is not represented on the Register. The plans depict a wooded pleasure ground to the south front of the house with an L-shaped water feature at its northernmost end, and an L-shaped water feature to the east of the hall. It is not clear if these features were ever created but they do not survive now. One of the plans shows a pavilion to the south of the hall framed with trees to form a vista. This is also depicted in a painting dated to the second half of the C18 but the pavilion has not survived. A detailed plan of the estate produced in 1803 depicts the landscape park much as it is today. It is thought to have been laid out at some point between 1750, when Paine re-fronted the hall, and 1774 when a survey records the ‘new park’. The plan depicts the avenue to the south of the hall, the Lime Walk to the west, and the lake to the east. The earth excavated to create the lake was probably used to build a false platform for the hall giving the impression of a dramatic sweeping lawn falling away to the lake. There is a walled garden on the east side of the hall, and shelter belts are shown along the south and west boundaries of the park. The hall is approached via drives from the north, south-east and south-west. It is not known who was responsible for designing this naturalised landscape.


C18 landscape park.


South Ormsby Hall is located to the east of the village of South Ormsby in the Lincolnshire Wolds. The parkland occupies 60-70 hectares of gently undulating land which slopes uphill slightly to the south. The park is bounded on the north by Bluestone Heath Road, on the east by the road through the village, and on the south by Ormsby Ring. The west boundary follows this road as it turns northwards and then follows the outer edge of Brook Walk Plantation and a field boundary back up to Bluestone Heath Road. ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

The Hall is approached from the east along a drive that turns northwards to curve around the southern end of the lake. A drive from the north leads to the stable courtyard.


South Ormsby Hall (Grade II*-listed) was largely rebuilt by James Paine in 1752-5 and is set upon a man-made prominence with the principal east front overlooking the lake. It is constructed of red brick with ashlar dressings and has two storeys under a hipped slate roof. The three-bay east front has a central canted bay containing the entrance with a Roman Doric porch of 1803, flanked by three-light tripartite C19 sash windows (replacing the original Venetian windows) set in the semi-circular headed niches.

To the north of the hall is the Grade II-listed red brick stable and gate piers, also built circa 1755 by Paine. The single-storey, eight-bay stable has two central advanced bays with elliptical carriage arches, flanked by rusticated ashlar blocked openings with segmental heads. At each end are rusticated piers with ashlar ball finials, and a similar pair of Grade II-listed gate piers mark the entrance to the stable yard.


Alongside the south of the hall, a straight walk leads to the Grade II-listed mid-C18 wrought iron gates and screen which have scrolled iron gate piers surmounted by lions. These mark the beginning of the Lime Tree Walk which leads to Brook Walk Plantation on the west side of the park. An underground brick vaulted wine cellar is situated on the north side of the hall. At the rear west front, a small garden was created around fifty years ago which has a rectangular pond with raised sides and is enclosed by a high hedge. PARK

The hall is situated slightly north-east of the centre of the park, the main extent of which therefore lies to the south and west. The lawn at the east front of the hall sweeps down to a sinuous lake which has a central island. The boat house depicted at the northern end on the 1889 Ordnance Map is in a ruinous state with a corrugated iron roof.

In the south of the park the avenue of trees is aligned with the south front of the hall; and parallel to this, to the west, are three lines of trees planted within the last twenty years. The park retains many mature trees, including oaks, walnut trees, sycamores and wellingtonia. The planned vista between the hall and the C18 summerhouse (demolished) in the south corner of the park is still framed by mature trees. The earthwork remains of an abandoned medieval village are situated in the east corner of the park near Brook Walk Plantation.

A row of red brick estate cottages, known as Park Cottages, situated to the north-west of the hall is thought to have originated as the home farm. A red brick lodge house, dating to the second half of the C19, is located to the east on the road running though the village.


To the west of the hall there is a Grade II-listed C18 walled kitchen garden constructed of red brick and enclosing approximately one and a third acres. It has a large, approximately rectangular plan and high walls on the north, west and south sides with a canted section at the north-west corner. The east side is formed by a short length of wall at the north and south ends, and in the centre by the rear wall of outbuildings in the stable courtyard. The walls have flat brick coping surmounted by pantiles and there is a door on each side. There are brick lean-tos on the outside of the north wall. The kitchen garden is no longer in production and is laid to grass.


Books and journals
Harris, John, Pevsner, Nikolaus, Antram, Nicholas, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (2002)
Country Life (February 20 1969), pp. 409-10
Elizabeth Mayle, South Ormsby Hall, Louth, Lincolnshire: Assessment of Significance, September 2013
Lincolnshire HER Number 42673 - MLI42673 South Ormsby Hall
Lincolnshire HER Number 47375 - MLI92249 Historic Park, South Ormsby
Lincolnshire HER Number 47455 - MLI93066 Stables and gate piers, South Ormsby Hall
Lincolnshire HER Number 48045 - MLI93532 Gates and screen, South Ormsby Hall


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

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