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Library Garden, Leighton Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Forden with Leighton and Trelystan (Ffordun gyda Tre'r-llai a Threlystan), Powys

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Latitude: 52.6333 / 52°37'59"N

Longitude: -3.1226 / 3°7'21"W

OS Eastings: 324120

OS Northings: 304538

OS Grid: SJ241045

Mapcode National: GBR B1.71XG

Mapcode Global: WH79X.02BL

Plus Code: 9C4RJVMG+8X

Entry Name: Library Garden, Leighton Hall

Listing Date: 24 December 1982

Last Amended: 20 March 1998

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 19524

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Located immediately S of library wing of Leighton Hall. The wall on S side of garden is the boundary with Tudor Croft.

County: Powys

Town: Forden

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

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Designed by Edward Kemp, a pupil of Joseph Paxton, c1860 and part of the formal gardens at Leighton Hall. 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 Library Garden was the first element of the formal gardens to be laid out and originally comprised a network of paths, alongside which were bronze statues and vases on pedestals, as well as statues on the piers of the central steps. 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.


Walled garden approximately 60m by 40m, enclosed by walls of coursed, rock-faced Cefn stone with ashlar dressings and ramped coping. On the NE side of the garden the wall is higher to conceal the service wing of Leighton Hall beyond it. Beneath the ground in the NE corner there is also said to be a cistern where rainwater from Leighton Hall Tower was channelled. The garden is divided into 2 sections by means of a low bank which has stone steps in the centre, and which is defined in the outer walls by piers which have caps with gablets (which in turn have hood moulds with head stops). The angles of the garden walls are defined by piers with similar caps. The inner faces have stepped buttresses. On the N side is an embattled doorway leading to the front of the Hall and a plainer doorway with mullioned overlight leading to the service yard of the Hall. The E wall has 2 doorways under segmental pointed arches, which have hood moulds framing cusped panels in the spandrels and are flanked by panels with foliage in lozenges. Each has boarded doors with prominent braces. The S wall has a plainer doorway.

Reasons for Listing

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 library garden is an important part of its overall setting. The gardens at Leighton Hall are a tour-de-force of landscaping and remarkable for the extent of their survival. The library garden is an important element in the overall design of the gardens, representing an enclosed space detached from the main gardens to the E.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • I Leighton Hall Tower
    Located approximately 1.4km S of Leighton church. The Tower is SE of Leighton Hall, reached by short private road E of B4388. A second (currently disused) service road leads to SW side of the Tower.
  • II Terrace Walk S of Leighton Hall Tower
    Situated on SE side of Leighton Hall Tower, with the main gardens to E and N, and with a boundary wall immediately to W, beyond which is a service road and the library garden.
  • I Leighton Hall
    Located approximately 1.4km S of Leighton church. The Hall is reached by private road on the E side of the B4388 Buttington to Forden road, and is set in landscaped gardens.
  • II Wall attached to Library Garden wall at Leighton Hall
    Situated S of library garden on S side of Leighton Hall and forming the W side of a private road immediately S of Leighton Hall Tower. The wall is continuous with the wall of the library garden and i
  • II Boundary wall S of Leighton Hall Tower
    Situated S of Leighton Hall Tower and forming W side of a terrace walk and E side of a now disused service road.
  • II Terrace Walk at Leighton Hall
    Situated on the N and E sides of Leighton Hall and with gardens to N and E.
  • II* Footbridge E of Leighton Hall Tower
    Situated E of Leighton Hall Tower, S of Serpentine Pond and NE of a terrace walk at Leighton Hall.
  • II Arbour at Leighton Hall
    Within landscape gardens at Leighton Hall SW of Serpentine Pond. It is linked by paths to W and N to bridge E of Leighton Hall Tower and bridge E of Serpentine Pond respectively.

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