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Flower Garden Walls at Trentham Gardens

A Grade II Listed Building in Swynnerton, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.9646 / 52°57'52"N

Longitude: -2.2024 / 2°12'8"W

OS Eastings: 386503

OS Northings: 340820

OS Grid: SJ865408

Mapcode National: GBR 14W.20S

Mapcode Global: WHBD0.4RJ4

Plus Code: 9C4VXQ7X+R3

Entry Name: Flower Garden Walls at Trentham Gardens

Listing Date: 9 January 1996

Last Amended: 19 March 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1244084

English Heritage Legacy ID: 448829

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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Walls and flower-bed curbs to the flower garden, 1833 to 1842, part of Charles Barry’s remodelling of Trentham Hall and Gardens for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland.


Walls and flower-bed curbs to the flower garden, 1833 to 1842, part of Charles Barry’s remodelling of Trentham Hall and Gardens for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland.

MATERIALS: constructed from limestone ashlar.

PLAN: the walls enclose the north, east and west sides of the roughly-square flower garden to the south of Trentham Hall.

DESCRIPTION: low walls with a moulded base and top, articulated by squat square pillars with fielded panelled sides. The east and west walls include a semi-circular seat at their centre, aligned with the west-east central axis of the garden. The seats match that to the north of the triple-arched pavilion (Grade II). The north wall has a set of steps at its centre which would have led up to the terrace between the conservatory and dining room of the main house. Each of the walls has an adjacent flower bed with curbed edges.


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 flower garden was constructed between 1833 and 1842 by Charles Barry for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland, at the same time that Barry remodelled Trentham Hall. Barry’s concept for country house gardens was to have architectural features close to the house, becoming increasingly more natural on progression into the park and wider estate.

Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860) was a leading architect in the early to mid-C19. Best-known for his design of the Houses of Parliament with AWN Pugin, he was also an influential country house architect, and a passionate architectural gardener, popularising the Italianate style.

Reasons for Listing

The Flower Garden Walls are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* an accomplished illustration of the mid-C19 fashions for the Italianate style in garden design, enclosing the formal garden, designed to frame the elevation of the house.

Historic interest:

* designed by Charles Barry, an important and influential C19 architect, and leading proponent in Italianate garden design.

Group value:

* the structure is an integral part of Barry’s C19 designed landscape, and has a strong relationship to other listed garden features.

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