History in Structure

The Duchess Cottage, Trentham Gardens

A Grade II Listed Building in Swynnerton, Staffordshire

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 52.9657 / 52°57'56"N

Longitude: -2.1982 / 2°11'53"W

OS Eastings: 386782

OS Northings: 340940

OS Grid: SJ867409

Mapcode National: GBR 14W.31H

Mapcode Global: WHBD0.6QHB

Plus Code: 9C4VXR82+7P

Entry Name: The Duchess Cottage, Trentham Gardens

Listing Date: 25 April 1980

Last Amended: 6 March 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1374227

English Heritage Legacy ID: 272391

ID on this website: 101374227

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: Cottage

Find accommodation in


The Duchess Cottage, built around 1841 in Trentham Gardens.


The Duchess Cottage, built around 1841 in Trentham Gardens.

MATERIALS: the building is mainly of brick construction covered in render and paint to produce a timber-framed appearance. It has a brick plinth with chamfered stone top and chimneys of brick and stone. It has a modern tiled roof and timber doors.

PLAN: the plan of the cottage is a cross shape, due to a porch to the north and a bay to the south on a rectangular main room.

EXTERIOR: the south-west façade is reached up a flight of steps. It is a gable end with a four-light casement window and two parts above. The gable end has decorative eaves and sham timber-framing. To the north, there is a porch raised on three stone steps. The north face of the porch has decorative eaves and a pinnacle. The external wall of the porch has an open decorative pattern. At the rear of the property, the pitch roof steps down. The roof is a modern replacement and the higher part holds the chimneys. There is a central timber door on the north-east façade, with casement windows to either side and two windows above, mirroring the shape of the opposite façade. On the south-west façade, there is a single projecting bay with a two-light window. The eaves and pinnacle of this bay match the porch.


Trentham Hall and gardens were established on the site of an Augustinian priory in the C16. The property was bought by wool merchant James Leveson in 1540 after the dissolution of the priory. Over the following 360 years under the Leveson-Gower family ownership, the house and grounds were redesigned multiple times. A new mansion was built for Sir Richard Leveson in 1630-1639 and walled gardens created. The park was remodelled in the 1690s for Sir John Leveson-Gower, and a pair of canals cut c1695 to Rev George Plaxton’s plan. In 1707 the hall was redesigned by William Smith of Warwick. The 2nd Baron Gower commissioned Charles Bridgeman to extend and improve the land in 1720 including enclosing Kings Wood, constructing a brick wall around the park and creating a patte d’oie the west of the house, some of which remains. Trentham Hall was remodelled again in 1737-38 by Francis Smith of Warwick. A further overhaul of the landscaping was undertaken in the mid-eighteenth century by removing the walk between the two canals to create a lake. The shape of the lake was naturalised and planting added to the bank by Lancelot Brown between 1759 and 1780. At this time, the hall was redesigned by Henry Holland. Charles Heathcote Tatham designed the mausoleum on Stone Road in 1808 and added east and west wings to the south front of the hall; his orangery survives at the south-west of the remains of the hall.

Another large transformation of both house and grounds took place in the early-nineteenth century under the commission of the 2nd Duke of Sutherland and his wife, Harriet (née Howard). In 1834-1842, Charles Barry redesigned the hall, rebuilding Tatham’s dining room, adding a Belevdere tower over the old kitchen, and building an orangery, sculpture gallery and clock tower. Barry went on to rebuild the stables and service quarters in 1840-49. 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. Planting would have been led by the head gardeners at Trentham, including George Fleming from 1841 and later Zadok Stevens. The gardens were showcases of innovative Victorian planting and use of colour under Fleming’s management.

Trentham Hall was demolished in about 1911 but remains of its entrance and conservatory, orangery and sculpture gallery and stable block survive. The entrance lodges to Trentham Gardens were relocated from the west entrance of the hall to their present site opposite the mausoleum in the 1920s. This was to be the main entrance for Trentham Gardens in their use as public pleasure grounds. The various structures built for entertainment in the C20, such as the tennis courts, ballroom and open-air swimming pool have since been demolished. In the early C21, the flower garden on the upper terrace was historically recreated and the parterre garden to the south was redesigned as a modern scheme by Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf, being completed in 2004.

The Duchess Cottage was built in about 1841 in Trentham Gardens, in the area north of Longton Brook, in the style of a cottage orne. It has also been known as the Dolls' House and the Children's Cottage, suggesting it may have been used for play.

Reasons for Listing

The Duchess Cottage at Trentham Gardens, a garden building of around 1841, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its cottage orne design, which stands as a romantic feature within the gardens of the Trentham Estate;
* for its good degree of survival.

Historic interest:

* as an example of an early-C19 romantic garden building, designed to be functional and also seen as a feature of a sophisticated landscape park.

Group value:

* with the Grade II*-Registered Trentham Gardens, and other listed buildings within the estate.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.