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Sutherland Monument, Trentham Gardens

A Grade II* Listed Building in Swynnerton, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9468 / 52°56'48"N

Longitude: -2.1965 / 2°11'47"W

OS Eastings: 386890

OS Northings: 338846

OS Grid: SJ868388

Mapcode National: GBR 152.9GK

Mapcode Global: WHBD6.7686

Entry Name: Sutherland Monument, Trentham Gardens

Listing Date: 10 January 1953

Last Amended: 6 March 2019

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1038951

English Heritage Legacy ID: 272386

Location: Swynnerton, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST12

County: Staffordshire

District: Stafford

Civil Parish: Swynnerton

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Tittensor St Luke

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Trentham

Summary


Monument to the 1st Duke of Sutherland, installed at Trentham Gardens in 1836. The monument was designed by Charles Winks, and the full figure statue commissioned from the sculptor Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, and sculpted under the direction of Chantrey’s assistant, Joseph Theakston.

Description

Monument to the 1st Duke of Sutherland, installed at Trentham Gardens in 1836. The monument was designed by Charles Winks, and the full figure statue commissioned from the sculptor Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, and sculpted under the direction of Chantrey’s assistant, Joseph Theakston.

MATERIALS: built of limestone.

DESCRIPTION: the monument is prominently located on the top of Tittensor Hill (also known as Monument Hill) to the southern end of the estate. The monument comprises a three-metre tall limestone figure of the 1st Duke of Sutherland that is purposefully positioned looking north over his estate. He is sculpted wearing a long cloak, with his left arm resting on a stone support and his left foot set forward and partly over the round base of the statue. The round base is inscribed to its south side with the signature ‘CHANTREY SC’. The figure stands on a five-metre tall tapering column that is surmounted on a square pedestal, with chamfered corners to the dado, and a four step plinth. To the north face of the dado is a stone plaque with the inscribed epitaph:

IN LASTING MEMORIAL OF / GEORGE GRANVILLE / DUKE OF SUTHERLAND MARQUESS OF STAFFORD K.G. / AN UPRIGHT AND PATRIOTIC NOBLEMAN, / A JUDICIOUS, KIND AND LIBERAL LANDLORD / WHO IDENTIFIED THE IMPROVEMENT OF HIS VAST ESTATES / WITH THE PROSPERITY OF ALL WHO CULTIVATED THEM. / A PUBLIC YET UNOSTENTATIOUS BENEFACTOR / WHO WHILE HE PROVIDED USEFUL EMPLOYMENT / FOR THE ACTIVE LABOURER / OPENED WIDE HIS HAND TO THE DISTRESS / OF THE WIDOW, THE SICK AND THE TRAVELLER. / A MOURNING AND GRATEFUL TENANTRY / UNITING WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD / ERECTED THIS PILLLAR / AD MDCCCXXXIV

History

Trentham Hall and gardens were established on the site of a C12 Augustinian priory when, in 1540, after the priory was dissolved, it was purchased by wool merchant James Leveson. Under the ownership of the Leveson-Gower family, the house and grounds were redesigned multiple times. From 1630 to 1639 a new house was built for Sir Richard Leveson, in 1707 it was redesigned by William Smith of Warwick, and it was redesigned again between 1737 and 1738 by Francis Smith of Warwick. In the mid-C18, at the same time as Capability Brown enlarged the lake, the house was enlarged by Henry Holland from nine to fifteen bays, and in the early C19 Charles Heathcote Tatham added the east and west wings to its south elevation.

In 1833, following the death of George Granville Leveson-Gower, the 1st Duke of Sutherland, the estate was inherited by his eldest son the 2nd Duke of Sutherland and his wife, Harriet (née Howard). In the same year they commissioned the architect Sir Charles Barry to redesign Trentham Hall, which included the addition of the grand entrance at the west end, the addition of a belvedere tower over the old kitchen, the building of an orangery, sculpture gallery and clock tower, and the rebuilding of the stables and service quarters. The design of the Italianate formal gardens is also attributed to Barry, formed of two shallow terraces leading down to the lake with parterres and balustrading, statues, urns, pavilions and fountains as features.

Trentham Hall was largely demolished from 1910 to 1912 but remains of its entrance and conservatory, orangery and sculpture gallery and stable block survive. The entrance lodges to Trentham were relocated from the west entrance to the present position on Stoke Road in the 1920s, when the site became a public pleasure garden. The various structures built for entertainment in the C20, such as the tennis courts, ballroom and open-air swimming pool have since been demolished. The estate is now operated as a commercial leisure attraction.

The Sutherland Memorial was added to the estate in 1836 as a memorial to the 1st Duke of Sutherland. A Memorial Committee, under the direction and control of the Countess Duchess and the 2nd Duke of Sutherland, directed the commission and installation of the monument, and in 1833 the original design for a simple Roman Doric column was abandoned in favour of Charles Winks’ design for a monumental pillar surmounted by a statue of the Duke. The full-figure statue was ordered from the sculptor Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey to the same design that he was already preparing for the Duke’s estate in Sutherland, Scotland (the Ben Bhragaidh Monument to the 1st Duke of Sutherland). The statue for Trentham was completed in 1836 under the direction of Chantrey’s assistant, Joseph Theakston.

Chantrey (1781-1841) was a leading portrait sculptor of the period and from the 1820s onwards, in particular, he was the sculptor of choice for the wealthy. Theakston (1772-1842) was employed by Chantrey from 1818 to carve the draperies and other accessories to his statues, and his dominant role in the execution of both full figure statues of the 1st Duke of Sutherland, from the small models provided by Chantrey, is recorded.

The Duke of Sutherland, was, on his death, the greatest landowner in the country and a man of great influence in the worlds of art, politics and industry. However, his reputation as a man of great benevolence who cared for his tenants has been questioned by his infamous involvement in the Highland Clearances.

Reasons for Listing

The Sutherland Monument is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its artistic and sculptural quality as a full-figure statue of the 1st Duke of Sutherland, designed by renowned sculptor, Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey;
* for its recorded association with Chantrey’s assistant, Joseph Theakston, a highly-skilled sculptor in his own right;
* for its monumental design by architect, Charles Winks, serving as an eyecatcher within Trentham’s landscape.

Historic interest:

* as a monument to the life of George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland, a nationally important figure, who, as the greatest landowner in the country, had considerable political and industrial influence;
* for its epitaph and how it provides an insight into how his family wished him to be remembered, contrasted against the context of his infamous involvement in the Highland Clearances.

Group value:

* with the Grade II* Trentham Gardens and a number of listed buildings on the estate.

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