Information for record number MWA6951:
Merevale Hall Park, Merevale

Summary 19th century formal gardens and terraces designed by W A Nesfield and 19th century parkland which incorporate elements of an early 18th century formal garden and a late 18th century scheme by Joseph Cradock.
What Is It?  
Type: Landscape Park, Kitchen Garden, Drive, Formal Garden, Garden Terrace, Loggia, Balustrade, Pool, Wild Garden, Lake
Period: Modern - Modern (1740 AD - 2050 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Atherstone
District: North Warwickshire, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 29 97
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Registered Park or Garden (Grade: II*)
Sites & Monuments Record

Source Number  

1 Merevale Hall is a 185 heactre site comprising 10 heacctres of gardens and pleasure grounds, and 175 heactres of parkland. ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The site is entered from the B4116 road to the south-west through a white-painted timber gate. The tarmac drive extends 130m north-north-west through the park to meet a drive which approaches from a mid 20th century lodge 270m to the south-west of the junction; this lodge replaced the 19th century Baxterley lodge. The present drive and entrance was constructed in the mid 20th century when the area to the south-west was recovered from open-cast mining. At the junction a drive leads 170m north-west to Swans Wood Farm, while the main drive turns sharply north-east and proceeds for 290m. Sweeping north and north-east the drive continues for a further 350m, with steeply rising ground to the east and wide views to the west, before turning east to approach a turning area to the south of the mid 19th century stables. To the east the drive turns north to enter the forecourt through a pair of ornamental mid 19th century cast-iron gates set in a screen of ornamental cast-iron railings supported on a low stone wall. The forecourt is separated from the stable court to the west by a stone screen wall, and is enclosed to the east by a similar wall which is terminated to the south by a massive pier supporting a metal lantern. The drive is flanked by rectangular panels of lawn and flower beds in the forecourt. The carriage court at the south-east corner of the Hall is separated from the forecourt by low stone walls which terminate in piers with ball finials, and is enclosed by stone walls. A further drive approaches the Hall from the Watling Street to the north. This entrance is flanked by a pair of mid 19th century single-storey pedimented lodges. The lodges adjoin a panelled screen wall which flanks a pair of rendered stone gate piers surmounted by carved stone vase finials, which in turn support a pair of open-work timber gates. The tarmac drive runs c 500m south before turning south-west and climbing gently for 270m to reach a white-painted timber gate adjacent to a group of mid 19th century cedars. Passing through the gate the drive continues to climb south-west through the park for 400m. The Church drive approaches the Hall from Merevale Lane to the north-west where a monumental mid 19th century gothic stone gatehouse. To the south of the gatehouse the gravelled drive is separated from the churchyard to the east by a stone wall. To the west lawns and shrubs separate the drive from the carriage court and drive of The gate House a mid 19th century House. Some 50m south-east of the gatehouse the drive passes through a simple gateway and continues for 130m south-east across the dam which retains the monastic Black Pool. The drive, today a track, sweeps south-east and south through the park for 670m, passing Rose Cottages, a pair of mid 19th century Tudor-gothic stone cottages 670m south-east of the entrance. The drive climbs south-east through an area of scattered trees to join the present principal approach from the south-west. An early 19th century, picturesque, octagonal thatched-roofed lodge, Beehive Cottage, stands on the Coleshill road 750m south-south-east of the Hall. A white-painted timber gate flanked to the east by a similar pedestrian gate leads to a track which passes for 190m through an area of mixed Woodland, the Outwoods, to join further tracks which lead west for 270m to reach the park, and east for 190m to reach a track on the west bank of the lake. PRINCIPAL BUILDING Merevale Hall stands on a level terrace to the north of, and below, the summit of a steep hill, with wide views to the west, north and east. The present mansion was constructed in a Jacobean style for William Stratford Dugdale in 1838-42 by Edward Blore and was completed with some alterations by Henry Clutton in 1842-4. gardenS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The formal terraced gardens lie to the east of the Hall, with areas of informal pleasure ground beyond, and to the north. Wide, stone-flagged steps descend from the central door in the east facade of the Hall to the gravelled upper terrace which is laid out with a geometric, stone-kerbed parterre. The upper terrace is retained to the east by a stone wall, the parapet of which is ornamented with a group of mid 19th century stone urns. The symmetrical parterre is divided into two groups of beds divided by a central gravel walk leading east from the Hall to an axially placed flight of stone steps descending to the lower terraces. The gravelled terrace returns along the north facade of the Hall where it is retained by a stone crenellated parapet. A centrally placed double stone staircase with Jacobean-style arcaded balustrades descends to an area of informal pleasure ground. The gravelled terrace returns below the west facade of the Hall, where it is terminated to the south by a triple-arched stone loggia which is approached by a flight of stone steps. The loggia is surmounted by a stone strapwork balustrade. The west terrace is laid out with narrow, stone-kerbed panels of grass below the Hall and to the west of a central gravel walk. The stone crenellated balustrade to the west has a lower central section which is flanked by a pair of square-section stone piers which support a further pair of stone urns from Drayton Manor. A centrally placed shallow flight of stone steps descends from the gravel walk to the viewpoint. From the east terrace a central fight of stone steps descends to the second terrace which is laid out with lawns flanking a central gravel walk. Further stone steps descend from the second terrace to a narrow third terrace comprising a gravel walk set with painted timber bench seats. stone steps flanked by a pair of mid 19th century stone urns descend a tall grass bank in two flights to the lowest level of the formal gardens. The axial gravel walk extends east to a circular stone-kerbed mid 19th century Pool, which lies at the centre of a partially sunken lawn. The lawn is enclosed to the south by a grass bank planted with specimen trees and shrubs, which rises to a formal gravel walk which extends 200m south-east from the south-east corner of the upper terrace, while to the north it is enclosed by evergreen shrubs. To the east, the lawn is enclosed by a ridge of higher ground which is planted with deciduous trees, 19th century conifers and ornamental shrubbery known as The Wilderness. The central gravel walk encircles the Pool, the circumference of this central feature being marked by four stone urns set on tall stone pedestals. The walk continues east, ascending the ridge beyond the lawn where it is flanked by mature yews and specimen trees and shrubs. The Wilderness is laid out with a cruciform arrangement of gravel walks, the central crossing of which lies on the crest of the ridge. The axial walk extending from the Hall drops below the crest of the ridge and is terminated to the east by a flight of stone steps which descends to a further north/south walk. A north/south walk runs along the crest of the ridge and is terminated to the north by a 19th century, semicircular, green-painted timber alcove seat set on a stone-flagged base; to the south the walk is aligned on a small urn set on a stone pedestal. A walk returns north-west from The Wilderness towards the Hall. An early 20th century tennis lawn lies 140m south-east of the Hall, while a late 20th century swimming pool has been constructed 50m south-east of the Hall. The mid 19th century terraces and pleasure grounds replaced formal gardens which are shown on a survey of 1740. The mid 18th century formal gardens were altered by Joseph Cradock in the late 18th centur, but the outline of the early 18th century wilderness, lawn and terraces survive within Nesfield's mid 19th century scheme. park The park encircles the Hall and gardens on all sides. Today the majority of the park remains pasture, with areas of Woodland concentrated to the south and south-east. Some land to the west and north is in arable cultivation, while there are boundary plantations to the north, west and south-west. To the east and south-east the park is enclosed by a rubble-stone wall with a rustic stone coping. Some 800m east-south-east of the Hall a three-storey circular prospect tower is built into the wall. Lit by slit windows, the tapered tower has a crenellated parapet. To the north of the tower the park wall is partly screened by a plantation of limes known as wall plantation. Some 500m south-east of the Hall an irregular-shaped mid 19th century lake is retained to the north by a high earth dam faced with a curved 3m high wall of purple brick incorporating three round-arched openings. A 19th century ram which pumped water up to the Hall and gardens is situated to the north-west of the dam. To the south of the Hall a ridge of lightly Wooded high ground, park Hill, extends to the south-west boundary of the site, and is bounded to the north-west by the drive. Some 450m south of the Hall, parkhill Wood drops into a valley running west from the lake. Deciduous Woodland, the Outwoods, lies to the south of parkhill and to the east of the lake. The generally level ground below and to the west of the Hall and drive has scattered trees and a plantation, Plumtree Spinney, 320m west-south-west of the Hall; there is a further plantation at the south-west end of Black Pool 480m west of the Hall. An icehouse is cut into the steep slope below the west terrace adjacent to the 19th century kennels. KITCHEN GARDEN The KITCHEN GARDEN lies 50m north-east of the Hall below and to the north of the terraced gardens. The garden is approximately square on plan with rounded corners, and is enclosed by brick walls with stone coping. There are timber gates set in each wall. Today the garden is largely laid to lawn with late 20th century avenues of fruit trees dividing the area into quarters. A late 20th century ogee-arched tunnel arbour leads south from a slightly sunken central circular lawn to a late 20th century metal arbour. Against the north wall a vinery and a peach House of late 19th century date flank a late 20th century lean-to glasshouse and the site of a further 19th century glasshouse. A range of sheds, heating chambers and bothies remain to the north of the KITCHEN GARDEN. OTHER LAND The gardens of The gate House, a mid 19th century House designed as a rectory 670m north-west of the Hall are included in the site here registered. Two terraces descend to the south-east of the House, the upper terrace separated from the deeper lower terrace by a bank. The lower terrace, today laid to grass, is retained by a stone wall with centrally placed semicircular stone steps descending to an area of paddock. To the west and north-east of the House there are areas of shrubbery, with a mid 19th century coach house to the north. The churchyard associated with the parish church of Our Lady lies c 600m north-west of the Hall (within the area here registered). Separated from the park to the south and east by a stone ha-ha, a mature yew stands at the south-east corner of the churchyard. To the north of the Church the churchyard is separated from the gravelled area south of the mid 19th century gatehouse by a stone wall, while to the south it is enclosed by a 19th century ornamental wrought-iron fence.
3 It is possible that the ground form and the large yew trees which flank the central basin in the lower parterre may have survived from the 17th century gardens.

Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England
Author/originator: English Heritage
Date: 1994
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Warwickshire Register Review Report & Recommendations
Author/originator: Lovie, Jonathan
Date: 1997
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Statuatory List
Title: National Heritage List for England
Author/originator: Historic England
Page Number:
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Word or Phrase
none Registered Park or Garden Parks and gardens that are considered to be of historic importance are placed on a register. The register comprises a variety of town gardens, public parks and country estates. The main purpose of the register is to help ensure that the features and qualities that make the parks and gardens special are safeguarded if changes are being considered which could affect them.

The gardens on the register are divided into three grades in order to give some guidance about their significance, in a similar way to Listed Buildings. The majority of parks and gardens on the Register are of sufficient interest as to be designated as grade II. Some, however, are recognised as being of exceptional historic interest and are awarded a star giving them grade II* status. A small number are of international importance, and are classified as grade I.
period Modern The Modern Period, about 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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period modern About 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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monument FLOWER BED * A plot of earth used for the raising of flowers and shrubs. back
monument POOL * A small body of water, either natural or artificial. back
monument ICEHOUSE * A structure, partly underground, for the preservation of ice for use during warmer weather. back
monument PADDOCK * An enclosed field for horses. back
monument TERRACED GARDEN * A garden with one or more platforms with walks, often on different levels, usually close to the house. back
monument HOUSE * A building for human habitation, especially a dwelling place. Use more specific type where known. back
monument BENCH * A long seat, usually made of stone or wood, with or without a back. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument KITCHEN GARDEN * A private garden established primarily for growing vegetables and herbs for domestic consumption. back
monument CARVED STONE * A stone (including standing stones, natural boulders and rock outcrops) decorated with carved motifs. back
monument TUNNEL ARBOUR * An extended arbour, eg. the beech arbour at Hampton Court, Middlesex. back
monument LODGE * A small building, often inhabited by a gatekeeper, gamekeeper or similar. Use specific type where known. back
monument BUILDING * A structure with a roof to provide shelter from the weather for occupants or contents. Use specific type where known. back
monument LAKE * A large body of water surrounded by land. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument FORMAL GARDEN * A garden of regular, linear or geometrical design, often associated with the traditional Italian, French and Dutch styles. back
monument PARK * An enclosed piece of land, generally large in area, used for hunting, the cultivation of trees, for grazing sheep and cattle or visual enjoyment. Use more specific type where known. back
monument BALUSTRADE * A row of balusters, usually made of stone, surmounted by a rail or coping. back
monument BOUNDARY * The limit to an area as defined on a map or by a marker of some form, eg. BOUNDARY WALL. Use specific type where known. back
monument URN * A garden ornament, usually of stone or metal, designed in the the form of a vase used to receive the ashes of the dead. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument TOWER * A tall building, either round, square or polygonal in plan, used for a variety of purposes, including defence, as a landmark, for the hanging of bells, industrial functions, etc. Use more specific type where known. back
monument GLASSHOUSE * A building made chiefly of glass, used to grow plants and fruit in. Use more specific type where possible. back
monument PARISH CHURCH * The foremost church within a parish. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument ARBOUR * A lattice work bower or shady retreat covered with climbing plants. back
monument FACADE * Use wider site type where known. Only use term where no other part of original building survives. back
monument DRIVE * A road/carriage way giving access from the main road to the house, stables. back
monument VASE * A large, decorative garden ornament resembling a vase. back
monument FORECOURT * The court or enclosed space at the front of a building or structure. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument WALK * A place or path for walking in a park or garden. Use more specific type where possible. back
monument PEDESTAL * A concrete, cylindrical pedestal on which a spigot mortar was mounted. The pedestal is often the only evidence for a Spigot Mortar emplacement to survive. back
monument SEAT * An external structure used to sit on. back
monument PASTURE * A field covered with herbage for the grazing of livestock. back
monument PARTERRE * A level space in a garden occupied by ornamental flower beds. back
monument GATEHOUSE * A gateway with one or more chambers over the entrance arch; the flanking towers housing stairs and additional rooms. Use with wider site type where known. back
monument PIER * A structure of iron or wood, open below, running out into the sea and used as a promenade and landing stage. back
monument COACH HOUSE * An outbuilding where a horse-drawn carriage is kept. back
monument VINERY * A glass-house or hot-house constructed for the cultivation of a grapevine. back
monument MANOR * An area of land consisting of the lord's demesne and of lands from whose holders he may exact certain fees, etc. back
monument WOOD * A tract of land with trees, sometimes acting as a boundary or barrier, usually smaller and less wild than a forest. back
monument RAILINGS * A fence or barrier made of metal or wooden rails. back
monument CHURCHYARD * An area of ground belonging to a church, often used as a burial ground. back
monument GATEWAY * A substantial structure supporting or surrounding a gate. May be ornate or monumental, and have associated structures such as lodges, tollbooths, guard houses etc. back
monument PROSPECT TOWER * A tower built on a prominent part of an estate to provide panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. back
monument SQUARE * An open space or area, usually square in plan, in a town or city, enclosed by residential and/or commercial buildings, frequently containing a garden or laid out with trees. back
monument KENNELS * A house or range of buildings in which dogs are kept, eg. hunting hounds. back
monument LOGGIA * A covered arcade, often attached to a building, open on one or more sides. back
monument BEEHIVE * A receptacle used as a home for bees, traditionally made of thick straw-work in the shape of a dome, but sometimes made of wood. back
monument GARDEN * An enclosed piece of ground devoted to the cultivation of flowers, fruit or vegetables and/or recreational purposes. Use more specific type where known. back
monument LANDSCAPE PARK * Grounds, usually associated with a country house, laid out so as to produce the effect of natural scenery back
monument SHED * A slight structure built for shelter or storage, or for use as a workshop, either attached as a lean-to to a permanent building or separate. Use more specific type where known. back
monument STABLE * A building in which horses are accommodated. back
monument WILD GARDEN * A garden where woodland and meadow flowers grow in an apparently natural way. back
monument PLANTATION * A group of planted trees or shrubs, generally of uniform age and of a single species. back
monument ROUND * A small, Iron Age/Romano-British enclosed settlement found in South West England. back
monument GATE PIER * A pier of brick, masonry, etc, to which the hinges of a gate are attached. back
monument GATE * A movable stucture which enables or prevents entrance to be gained. Usually situated in a wall or similar barrier and supported by gate posts. back
monument GARDEN TERRACE * A flat, level area of ground within a garden. Often raised and accessed by steps. back
monument LAWN * A flat, and usually level area of mown and cultivated grass, attached to a house. back
monument STEPS * A series of flat-topped structures, usually made of stone or wood, used to facilitate a person's movement from one level to another. back
monument FARM * A tract of land, often including a farmhouse and ancillary buildings, used for the purpose of cultivation and the rearing of livestock, etc. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FENCE * A construction of wood or metal used to enclose an area of land, a building, etc. back
monument SHRUBBERY * A plantation of shrubs. back
monument SWIMMING POOL * A large, manmade pool, usually lined with tiles, rubber or similar. Can be placed in the open air, eg. a LIDO, or built as part of a covered sports centre. back
monument WALL * An enclosing structure composed of bricks, stones or similar materials, laid in courses. Use specific type where known. back
monument PARK WALL * A stone or brick wall enclosing a park. back
monument DAM * A barrier of concrete or earth, etc, built across a river to create a reservoir of water for domestic and/or industrial usage. back
monument TERRACE * A row of houses attached to and adjoining one another and planned and built as one unit. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record