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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
Entry Name: Library Garden, Leighton Hall
Listing Date: 24 December 1982
Last Amended: 20 March 1998
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.
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 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.
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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