Garden Walls and Gates with attached Orangery and Music Room, Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1472046
Date first listed:
13-Oct-2020
Date of most recent amendment:
16-Feb-2021
Statutory Address:
Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Chester Road, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, B36 9BT

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Chester Road, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, B36 9BT

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

District:
Solihull (Metropolitan Authority)
Parish:
Castle Bromwich
National Grid Reference:
SP1412889791

Summary

Early-C18 garden walls and gates with attached Orangery, Music Room and associated statuary.

Reasons for Designation

The garden walls and gates with attached Orangery and Music Room at Castle Bromwich Hall are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest: * the walls, garden buildings and statuary form an important part of the early-C18 gardens at Castle Bromwich Hall, an important and complete survival from the period.

Architectural interest: * the garden walls have good detailing with brick coping stones and niches and limestone statuary; * the Orangery and Music Room are good examples of classical early-C18 garden buildings with moulded pediments and carvings.

Group value: * the walls, Orangery and Music Room together form an important group and possess group value with Castle Bromwich Hall, the registered gardens and the other listed structures.

History

The gardens at Castle Bromwich Hall were begun in 1600 following shortly after the completion of the hall for Sir Edward Devereux. The formal gardens were initially laid to the north and south of the hall, with a walled ‘Best Garden’ later constructed immediately to the west in 1701. With the designed gardens continuing to expand into the C18, under the ownership of Sir John Bridgeman II further areas were planted to the west and south-west of the hall, with the introduction of a ‘wilderness’ garden and a ‘holly walk’ planted to run along a north to south axis in the new gardens.

In 1729, two new garden buildings were constructed, designed to sit within the garden walls. The greenhouse and summerhouse, now known as the Orangery and Music Room respectively, were constructed to sit within the north and south garden walls, with new brick walls extended from the existing gardens at this time. In approximately 1732, the north and south walls of the gardens were connected by a new west wall which included a clairvoie at its centre to take advantage of the countryside views to the west. The north wall was altered to the east of the Orangery to accommodate a new small, enclosed garden to the north in the 1730s, later known as the herbarium.

Further alterations and improvements were made to the garden walls over the course of the C18, with £30 spent by Bridgeman to install sphinx statuary with inscriptions at the north-west and south-west corners in 1745.

Over the course of the C19 some changes were made to the gardens though the garden walls, Orangery and Music Room were left relatively unaltered. During the 20th century, the Bridgeman family ceased living at the Hall. A restrictive covenant on the Hall and Gardens was gifted to the National Trust in 1946. The mid to late-C20 saw the gardens fall into decline with the Orangery and Music Room becoming ruinous. They were restored and partly rebuilt by the Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust, formed in 1985. At this time the iron gates connecting the gardens and the church of St Mary and St Margaret were also restored. The Hall and Gardens are now in separate ownership, with the gardens owned and managed by the independent charitable Trust.

Details

Early-C18 garden walls and gates with attached Orangery, Music Room and associated statuary.

MATERIALS: the walls are constructed of brick with sandstone dressings and limestone statuary and coping stones. The gates within the walls and railings to the clairvoie are iron.

PLAN: the garden walls are situated to the north and west of Castle Bromwich Hall and run approximately 180 metres north to south, enclosing an L-shaped area of nearly five and a half acres in total.

DESCRIPTION: the north wall is constructed in Flemish garden wall bond and starts at its eastern end to the north of the hall, enclosing the north garden linking the hall with the church of St Mary and St Margaret. A further wall to the west of the north garden separates it from the former rose garden. The north wall has curved, brick coping stones and continues to the west for approximately 200 metres in total, first punctuated by gilded iron gates to access the adjacent church. The gate piers to the churchyard gate are in stretcher bond and house niches in their side returns. The wall continues west and is interrupted by a further gate which now acts as the garden’s main entrance, before projecting out to the north to surround the former herbarium constructed in irregular brick bond. There are low, ramped walls capped with limestone saddle coping stones which divide the former herbarium from the rest of the garden.

The Orangery sits further west of the north wall, and is a small, single-storey brick building constructed in Flemish bond with rusticated sandstone quoins and moulded pediment. At its centre are half-glazed timber double doors with leaded lights and fanlight under a semi-circular arch. To either side are leaded casements with central mullion. Above the window openings are two circular niches which house busts of female figures. At the centre of the pediment is the Bridgeman coat of arms with flanking swags. A heraldic lion finial sits above the pediment in front of a glazed roof.

To the west of the Orangery the walls are ramped to take into account the sloping gardens and are supported by brick buttresses; the wall continues to the north-west corner of the garden where it is mounted by a sandstone plinth and moulded base with limestone sphinx. The plinth features an inscription which is partly legible and gives warning of the dangers of the sphinx above. Above the inscription are relief carvings of swags, and on the east elevation, skulls and crossbones. Beneath the sphinx, set into the corner of the wall, is a deep niche, likely to have once housed further statuary.

The west wall is ramped at the northern end and continues south with a clairvoie at its centre with iron railings. There is a sphinx at the south-west corner of the walls, with matching swag carvings and corner niche below. Any inscription on the plinth below has been lost.

The south wall houses the Music Room at its centre, which very closely matches the design of the Orangery directly opposite, also in Flemish bond. The Music Room, however, has a tiled hipped roof, and houses in its niches two male busts. The pediment of the building has a carved crest at its centre and flanking swags with hanging grapes and fruit. A lion finial matching the Orangery sits above the pediment. The garden wall continues east and then turns north, to meet the walls of the former ‘Best Garden’ to the west of the hall.

Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Wedgwood, A, The Buildings of England: Warwickshire, (1966), 224
Other
Castle Bromwich Hall, Survey of the Grounds, West Midlands County Council, c1985
National Trust Archaeological Survey, Castle Bromwich, J Milln & R Woodside, 1996

Legal

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

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