Landscape record 0154004000 - BULSTRODE PARK (G118)

Summary

Seventeenth to eighteenth century gardens at Bulstrode Park

Protected Status/Designation

  • Planning Notification Area: Late 17th, 18th and 19th century landscaped park and gardens at Bulstrode Park
  • Registered Park or Garden (II*) GD4029: Bulstrode Park

Map

Type and Period (13)

  • FORMAL GARDEN (17th Century to 18th Century - 1600 AD to 1799 AD)
  • ORCHARD (17th Century - 1600 AD to 1699 AD)
  • TREE AVENUE (17th Century to 18th Century - 1600 AD to 1799 AD)
  • GARDEN TERRACE (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • PAVILION (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • ORANGERY (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL POND (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL CANAL (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • ZOO (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • RETAINING WALL? (18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • HA HA (20th Century - 1900 AD to 1999 AD)
  • GROTTO (Built 1770s, 18th Century to 19th Century - 1700 AD to 1899 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (18th Century to 19th Century - 1700 AD to 1899 AD)

Description

GRADE II+. LATE C17 FORMAL GARDENS LANDSCAPED IN C18 WITH C19 WOODLAND & EXOTIC DEVELOPMENT. C17 FEATURES POSSIBLY DESIGNED BY CLAUDE DESGOTS OR HENRY WISE. IN MID C18 2ND DUCHESS OF PORTLAND UNDERTOOK VARIED GARDENING. REPTON CALLED IN IN 1789 TO LANDSCAPE ESTATE. MID C19 FORMAL LAYOUT [FURTHER DETAIL & MAP](B1,B8).
Axiomatic birds-eye view of gardens in about ?1716 by Bowles (B9).
Watching brief of drainage trench to west of house produced evidence for the backfilling and landscaping of the cellars associated with the Jeffrey's west wing, with an area of made ground matching a spur on the 1784 Bulstrode estate map, and which may indicate a passageway linking the cellars within the main house and the cellars excavated within the west wing. Watching brief of the excavation of a pit for a storage tank west of the Pigeon Tower revealed a structure, from the bricks thought to be contemporary with the Pigeon Tower or Jeffrey's building. It is too far north to be the well-house shown on 1875 OS map and may be a gatekeeper's or gardener's cottage. It was sealed by 1860s remodelling deposits from the garden. The drainage ditch to the south did not provide any evidence for the Jeffrey's south front, the ground level having been lowered. Drainage ditch to the south-east of the house showed landscaping. A wall was found in the road leading to the secondary courtyard entrance and the brick matches the 1861 phase of the house. It was perhaps a low wall leading to the entrance. The ditches to the north-east of the house found evidence of WW2 occupation and a railway, suggesting an ammunition storage area, and post-war landscaping (B13).
Desk-based assessment mentions the gardens. The plan of Jeffrey's house in 1686 shows a wide formal avenue running east to Bull Lane and an orchard to the north-east of the house. Hans Wilhelm Bentinck, 1st earl of Portland, bought the estate in 1706 and built pavilions in the grounds, raised terraces to each end of the south front and an orangery. An engraving by Bowles of 1730 shows an enclosed garden to the west with a pavilion in the middle and four rectangular beds laid out symmetrically round it in the Dutch style. To the north of this was a large area with a pond in the middle and tree-lined paths leading from it like spokes from a wheel, remains of which can still be traced. To the north was a straight canal known as Long Water. Bentinck's grandson married Margaret Cavendish-Holles-Harley and she built up a menagerie and was given seeds from Captain Cook, which may have been grown in the area known as Botany Bay Fields in the park (B14).
Watching brief carried out by Oxford Archaeology in March 2009 during groundworks for installation of a new sewage plant recorded a possible mid-18th century brick retaining or boundary wall aligned E-W and 0.5m thick, possibly shown in Bowles' engraving of c.1730. The wall appears to have been deliberately dismantled and buried during a later phase of landscaping in the 19th century. The current NW-SE ha-ha is of machine moulded bricks and concrete mortar and was possibly constructed after WWII. See report for detail (B16).
After she was widowed in 1768 the noted grotto-builder Mrs Delaney moved back to England [from Ireland] and spent a good deal of time with her great friend, the dowager Duchess of Portland at Bulstrode, the Duchess's country estate in Buckinghamshire, where they built a grotto in the 1770s (demolished in the late nineteenth century). The Duchess, a keen amateur naturalist, collected thousands of local snail shells to decorate the grotto. [Illustration of the grotto shows a large dome-shaped structure faced with rough stonework built into a small knoll planted with several mature deciduous and conifer trees, with recently planted saplings apparently designed to provide a screen to one side of the grotto. The grotto appears to be SW-facing, with a large central romanesque arched entrance flanked by at least one smaller arched entrance on one side and at least three arched niches or possibly windows on the other side. The main chamber appears to be barrel-vaulted with arched entrances to one or two side chambers (B17).
Humphry Repton was consulted in April 1790 by the 3rd Duke of Portland and appears to have been working in the park until at least 1803, and possibly up to about 1809, when the Duke died. Repton is known to have visited in 1790, 1800 and 1801, and may have produced a Red Book. Repton proposed an extensive carriage drive circuit through the parkland, reducing the size of the pleasure grounds, simplifying the gardens, and some landscaping works within the park (B18).

Sources (12)

  • <1>SBC4636 Bibliographic reference: ENGLISH HERITAGE 1994 REGISTER OF PARKS & GARDENS OF SPECIAL HISTORIC IN-TEREST IN ENGLAND; PART 4 B.
  • <2>SBC792 Bibliographic reference: BAKER A & LE MESSURIER C 1980 BULSTRODE, IN RICEMASOUTHBUCKSVILLAG-E:THEHISTORYOFHEDGERLEYPP32-36"".
  • <3>SBC7903 Bibliographic reference: LIPSCOMB 4 PP501-507.
  • <4>SBC10308 Map: OS 1883 1ST EDITION SIX INCH MAP.
  • <5>SBC11770 Bibliographic reference: PEVSNER N 1960 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE P77.
  • <8>SBC6121 Bibliographic reference: John Harris. 1979. HARRIS J 1979 THE ARTIST AND THE COUNTRY HOUSE: A HISTORY OF COUNTRY HOUSE AND GARDEN VIEW PAINTING 1540-1870. p168, Fig 172.
  • <9>SBC19815 Map: Bowles. 1716?. Bowles ?1716 Plan of house and gardens at Bulstrode from the south.
  • <13>SBC22840 Unpublished document: Oxford Archaeology. 2006. Bulstrode Park, Gerrards Cross: Archaeological Watching Brief. pp8-9.
  • <14>SBC22931 Unpublished document: Oxford Archaeology. 2006. Bulstrode Park, Gerrards Cross: Desktop Assessment. pp 6-7, 9-10.
  • <16>SBC23403 Unpublished document: Oxford Archaeology. 2009. New Treatment Plant, Bulstrode Park, Gerrards Cross: Archaeological Watching Brief Report.
  • <17>SBC20535 Bibliographic reference: Hazelle Jackson. 2001. Shell Houses and Grottoes. pp16,34.
  • <18>SBC25044 Bibliographic reference: Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust. 2018. Humphry Repton in Buckinghamshire and Beyond. pp84-91.

Location

Grid reference Centred SU 98772 88031 (1569m by 2077m) (Centred on)
Civil Parish GERRARDS CROSS, South Bucks, Buckinghamshire
Civil Parish HEDGERLEY, South Bucks, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief (Ref: GCBPSP 08) (EBC17182)
  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief at Bulstrode Park (Ref: GCBPDW06) (EBC16770)

Record last edited

Feb 8 2021 9:38AM

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