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Arbour Trellis at Trentham Gardens

A Grade II Listed Building in Swynnerton, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.9635 / 52°57'48"N

Longitude: -2.2005 / 2°12'1"W

OS Eastings: 386629

OS Northings: 340696

OS Grid: SJ866406

Mapcode National: GBR 14W.8GB

Mapcode Global: WHBD0.5SD0

Plus Code: 9C4VXQ7X+9Q

Entry Name: Arbour Trellis at Trentham Gardens

Listing Date: 9 January 1996

Last Amended: 19 March 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1244081

English Heritage Legacy ID: 448827

Location: Swynnerton, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST4

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Swynnerton

Built-Up Area: Stoke-on-Trent

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Trentham St Mary and All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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An arbour trellis, created in the 1840s within Charles Barry’s parterre garden at Trentham Hall, for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland.


An arbour trellis, created in the 1840s within Charles Barry’s parterre garden at Trentham Hall, for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland.

MATERIALS: it is of cast and wrought iron on low stone plinths.

PLAN: the trellis is a linear feature running north-south along the east side of the parterre garden.

DESCRIPTION: it consists of a series of round arches forming a tunnel walkway set on a low stone plinth, with horizontal wires running along the tunnel for planting. The ends terminate in three openings at right angles to each other, each opening with a pair of scroll-shaped brackets at its base. Some of the scrolls have been recast and replaced, others have been restored.


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.

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 arbour trellis was built as part of the formal gardens at Trentham in the 1840s and was planted by George Fleming, Head Gardener, in 1847.

Reasons for Listing

The arbour trellis in Trentham Gardens is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the arbour trellis, within Barry’s formal parterre garden, provides evidence of evidence of the return to formal garden design in the second quarter of the C19.

Historic interest:

* a structural element within Head Gardener George Fleming's flower gardens, which was renown as a demonstration garden, especially for the use of colour and experimental planting.

Group value:

* closely related to the other listed structures within the formal gardens.

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