History in Structure

Remains of Trentham Hall: former stable block and service quarters

A Grade II Listed Building in Swynnerton, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.9659 / 52°57'57"N

Longitude: -2.201 / 2°12'3"W

OS Eastings: 386593

OS Northings: 340972

OS Grid: SJ865409

Mapcode National: GBR 14W.2B5

Mapcode Global: WHBD0.5Q43

Plus Code: 9C4VXQ8X+9H

Entry Name: Remains of Trentham Hall: former stable block and service quarters

Listing Date: 25 April 1980

Last Amended: 1 November 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1293887

English Heritage Legacy ID: 272368

ID on this website: 101293887

Location: Trentham, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST4

County: Staffordshire

District: Stafford

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

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Former stable block and service quarters, designed by Charles Barry in the Italianate style, and built in the 1840s.


Former stable block and service quarters, designed by Charles Barry in the Italianate style, and built in the 1840s.

MATERIALS: built of brick with stucco architectural details. The east elevation is painted. Clay pantiles cover the roof. Rendered brick stacks with bracketed cornices. Casement windows.

PLAN: the L-shaped range forms the north and east sides of the service yard.

EXTERIOR: the south and west elevations of the two-storey former stable block and service quarters face the service yard. The south elevation of the north range is of seven bays with irregular fenestration with shouldered and eared architrave. The east end of this range terminates with a two-storey square block with a rusticated ground floor and first-floor quoins. It has a deeply bracketed eaves cornice and the pyramidal roof is covered with slate tiles. The first floor windows have cornices supported on consoles.

The ten bay west elevation of the east range has square window openings with shouldered and eared architrave to both floors, divided by a plat band. Towards the left-hand end is the carriage entrance with a barrel-vaulted ceiling that incorporates first-floor taking-in doors. The east elevation of this range is plain with small, deeply recessed rectangular openings.

INTERIOR: not inspected (2018).


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 on a palatial scale reflecting their huge wealth. Barry’s scheme included the addition of the grand entrance at the west end, and the belvedere tower over the old kitchen to the east end of the house. 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.

The rebuilding of the stable block and service quarters formed part of the second phase of Barry’s work at Trentham. The cobble stone service yard to the east of the house was accessed from the north of the estate with mid-C19 rusticated gate piers and walls marking the entrance, as well as a single-storey brick porter’s lodge. The main estate office is thought to have been located in the bay at the west end of the north range. There were additional buildings that abutted the east elevation of the east range but these were demolished in the late C19.

In the mid-C20 a new route connecting the stables with the east side of the estate was created with the erection of a bridge across the River Trent; to the west side of the bridge are iron gates with a horse motif to the centre. The creation of this route involved the demolition of a section of the east range as well as the building to the centre of the service yard which may have provided additional stabling.

Trentham Hall was largely demolished from 1910 to 1912 and in the 1920s 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.

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 Remains of Trentham Hall: the former stable block and service quarters are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* designed by Charles Barry, a significant and influential architect of the period;
* for its competent expression of the Italianate style in a more rustic manner.

Historic interest:

* as part of the remains of a pre-1850 country house, that was one of the earliest examples of an Italianate country house in England, which had considerable influence on the design of Prince Albert’s Osborne House (Grade I) as well as other buildings in England;
* as an example of Barry’s architectural work for one of his most significant patrons, the 2nd Duke of Sutherland, who commissioned him on a number of projects and was a key figure in helping to establishing Barry’s reputation as a country house architect.

Group value:

* with the grand entrance and conservatory (Grade II*) and former orangery, sculpture gallery and clock tower (Grade II) as well as numerous listed garden buildings and features within the Grade II* registered park and garden which together illustrate Barry’s Italianate scheme for the Trentham Estate as a whole.

External Links

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