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Latitude: 52.6348 / 52°38'5"N
Longitude: -3.1221 / 3°7'19"W
OS Eastings: 324158
OS Northings: 304706
OS Grid: SJ241047
Mapcode National: GBR B1.720H
Mapcode Global: WH79X.01KF
Plus Code: 9C4RJVMH+W5
Entry Name: Footbridge and boundary wall on N side of Leighton Hall
Listing Date: 24 December 1982
Last Amended: 20 March 1998
Source ID: 15627
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Located on the N boundary of the landscape gardens of Leighton Hall, with the Serpentine Pond immediately to S.
Community: Forden with Leighton and Trelystan (Ffordun gyda Tre'r-llai a Threlystan)
Community: Forden with Leighton and Trelystan
Locality: Leighton Park
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
Designed by Edward Kemp, a pupil of Joseph Paxton, c1860 and part of the landscape gardens at Leighton Hall, where bridges were used to span natural hollows. Leighton Hall has formal gardens S of the library wing and SE of the Tower. In contrast, NE of the Hall and Tower it has a landscape garden which was planted with trees and shrubs, its woodland walks also contrasting with the terrace walks of the formal garden. The boundary wall and the walkway with steps were the earliest of the landscape garden features to be executed at Leighton Hall. Steps to a path beneath the bridge, leading into a woodland walk, were added later. The bridge was formerly known as the Lion Bridge as it had a sculpture of lion (John Naylor's emblem) on the parapet. The bridge and raised walkway form part of the path through the landscape garden, one of 3 such bridges.
John Naylor, a Liverpool banker, had acquired the Leighton Estate in 1846-47 and embarked on an ambitious programme of building, notably Leighton Hall, church and Leighton Farm, all designed by W.H. Gee and completed by the mid 1850s. Leighton Hall had been constructed 1850-56. John Naylor's grandson, Captain J.M. Naylor, sold Leighton Hall and the Estate in 1931.
Consisting of a footbridge which has a walkway with boundary wall continuing to E and W within which are incorporated flights of steps. Of coursed, rock-faced Cefn stone with ashlar dressings. The single-span bridge has a pointed arch with 2 orders of roll moulding, and has Naylor's monogram in quatrefoils in the spandrels. Four pairs of buttresses each side (each pair has a single base) have saddleback copings. The open parapet has pointed quatrefoils and 4 alcoves each side (corresponding with the buttresses) which have slate benches, some of which are damaged.
There are half-turn stone steps on the SW side of the bridge from the deck to the lower level. The parapet has ramped coping. The boundary wall consists of a retaining wall with a pronounced batter and a low parapet with ramped coping. To the W of the bridge the wall continues for approximately 110m and incorporates one fight of stone steps. At the W end is an octagonal enclosure. To E of the bridge the wall continues for approximately 50m and incorporates 4 flights of stone steps. At the E end is a circular enclosure.
The Leighton Estate is an exceptional example of high-Victorian estate development. It is remarkable for the scale and ambition of its conception and planning, the consistency of its design, the extent of its survival, and is the most complete example of its type in Wales. Leighton Hall represents the centrepiece of this development, and the garden features are a key element in the setting of the house. The gardens are also a tour-de-force of landscaping and formal design whose individual components are remarkable for their consistency of detail and the extent of their survival. The bridge and boundary wall is listed Grade II* as one of the architectural landmarks of the landscape garden and for the high quality of its design.
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