Skip to main content

Monument record MDR804 - Sudbury Hall Registered Park and Gardens

Type and Period (7)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2050 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Remains of formal garden, landscape pleasure grounds and deer park. Remains include turfed terraces of the 1820s and 30s to the south front, a late 18th century lake with formal pools and mid 19th century islands and The Decoy north-west of the lake. The park to the north (now farmland) was laid out in 1614, and later enlarged. It included fish ponds, a weir, a square pond, tree clumps, a Gothic deercote of 1723 that was altered in the early 19th century and a long formal avenue cleared during 18th century landscaping. This landscaping replaced extensive formal gardens as depicted by Jan Griffier in 1682. (1-3) The New Park of c. 1614 (SMR 26606) was extended at the very end of the 18th century or the early 19th century. A succession of maps enables some of the changes in the landscape to be described. To the south of the 17th century park and separated from it by a lane lay two open fields, Cross Field and Hill Field. By 1720 the lane had gone and the open fields had been enclosed. One of the enclosures in what had previously been Cross Field was called Deercoat Piece, indicating that the deer cote was in existence by that date (see below). Two great avenues of trees ran south-west to north-east on either side of the hall. Sometime between 1720 and 1794 the water features in the park were made. A series of ponds were created along the stream which follows the valley through the southern part of the park. The bridge over the weir between the two lower ponds was given an ornamental fa├žade on the side facing the house. The Square Pond or Buck Pool was probably also made at this time. The avenue had been removed by 1794, as part of the fashion of the time for a more natural landscape. The tithe map of 1843 shows that the park had expanded by that time to include the land of the earlier Cross and Hill Fields. Many of the features shown on the historic maps survive. An area of ridge and furrow lies in what was the open arable Cross Field before it was enclosed and later taken into the park. The deer cote cum folly is said to have been built in 1723. A painting of the second half of the 18th century shows it with four towers covered with plaster and roofed with cupolas; timber palisades ran between the towers to confine the deer. In the early 19th century the palisades were replaced by walls and a turreted gatehouse was added to make a properly picturesque park ornament of the structure. The deercote was the subject of an architects report made in 1972, held at the National Trust East Midlands Regional Office. Of a string of four long fish ponds to the east of the deer cote shown on late C19 maps, two survive, with a weir between them. The Square Pond also survives in fair condition and is used by an Angling Club. The decoy survives as a curving tapering channel cut from the west end of the lake. The top end is clear but the lower end has silted up. A late Victorian boathouse stands on the lake. It is rectangular with a brick wall, cedar shingles on the roof and a wooden double door at the lake end. (4) Aerial photographs taken in 1999-2002 suggest that the two long fish ponds present in 1985 may have been infilled and that the fields containing ridge and furrow have been ploughed. (5) Pleasure grounds and parkland of mid to late 18th century date and gardens laid out c. 1836-7 by William Sawrey Gilpin. The site was owned by the Vernon family from 1513 although they did not take up residence until the later 16th century. The estate remained in the family until 1967 when the Hall and part of the garden and park were given to the National Trust. They were included on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in 1984. The gardens and pleasure grounds are on the south side of the A515 surrounding the Hall. There are lawns on the north side of theHall and an area of woodland with paths leading through it, called The Decoy, to the north and west. On the south-west side of the Hall there are three grassed terraces planted with clipped yews and formal beds of late 20th century date. The terraces were laid out c. 1836-7, replacing a sweeping lawn. A large lake backed by mature planting lies to the south. At the south-east end there is an ornamental bridge (18th century, listed grade II) concealing a dam. The gardens replaced an extensive formal layout shown on a painting of c. 1700 by Jan Griffier which had three walled compartments on the south side of the Hall. The central compartment had a geometrical layout with fountains and statues and those on each side seem to have been orchards. A canal lay to the south of the gardens, with a series of rectangular pools beyond the canal. The park lies to the north of the Hall. It is open land in a mixture of pasture and arable uses. Some 400m north-east of the Hall is the Square Pond and c. 20m north-east of this is the Deercote (c. 1750, listed grade II*). This is in the form of a castle with a battlemented gatehouse. Maps and paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries show that the park was well wooded but relatively little tree cover survives. A kitchen garden lies c. 120m north-west of the Hall. It consists of a brick-walled enclosure (listed grade II) within which a private house is sited. It is depicted on a map of 1794 and the 1880-1 OS map shows it divided into compartments and planted with trees. (6)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • --- Unpublished document: Ford, A (TPA). 2019. Sudbury Hall: Results of an Archaeological Watching Brief.
  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Anthony, J. 1979. The Gardens of Britain 6: The East Midlands.
  • <2> Article in serial: Hussey, C. Country Life, June 15 1935, p. 622.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Thomas, G. S. 1979. Gardens of the National Trust.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Beamish, H & Smith, L (The National Trust). 1985. The National Trust Archaeological Survey: Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire. SMR Doc. No. 627.
  • <5> Aerial Photograph: UK Perspectives. 1999-2002. Aerial photographic coverage of Derbyshire.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. Part 10: Derbyshire. PG1675.



Grid reference Centred SK 16 33 (1960m by 3207m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR1729
  • EDR5076

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 21 2023 12:25PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.