Information for record number MWA6950:
18th-19th century formal gardens at Honington Hall, Honington

Summary Part of the 18th century Honington Hall parkland was developed in the 19th century as formal gardens.
What Is It?  
Type: Formal Garden, Garden Terrace, Italian Garden, Loggia, Balustrade
Period: Modern (1740 AD - 2050 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Honington
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 26 42
(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
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

5 Honington Hall’s 72 hectare site comprises 8 hectares of gardens and pleasure grounds, and 64 hectares of parkland. The formal gardens lie principally to the south and south-east of the Hall, with informal pleasure grounds to the east and west. There are further areas of informal pleasure grounds to the west of the River Stour. The pleasure grounds to the east of the Hall comprise a large, segmental-shaped lawn, which is enclosed by evergreen shrubbery on a bank to the north which screens a wall and service buildings, and by similar shrubbery to the south which screens the churchyard. To the east the pleasure grounds are bounded by a service drive and metal estate fencing which allows views across the adjacent park. Some 130m north-east of the Hall an 18th century stone urn with carved foliate decoration and a flame finial stands on a tall stone pedestal. A semicircular declivity at the east end of the lawn appears to relate to the curved eastern boundary of the forecourt shown on the Bucks' engraving of 1731. The early 18th cerntury scheme comprised a walled forecourt with clipped trees flanking a central walk. The gardens to the south of the Hall are approached through an arched gateway at the south-east corner of the forecourt which remains from the mid 18th century south quadrant wall. The mid 18th century loggia stands on a balustraded, stone-flagged terrace with stone steps to east and west, which overlooks a late 19th century formal garden comprising four geometric, yew-hedged enclosures, each containing a panel of lawn. At the intersection of the cruciform grass walks between the yew enclosures, an 18th century stone fountain stands in a circular pool. A gravel walk runs below the south terrace, leading to the pleasure grounds to the west of the Hall, while a further walk follows the western boundary of the churchyard, which is here screened by a row of mature limes. This walk extends 100m south-east from the Hall to reach an early 18th century column sundial. A further area of formal garden known as the Italian Garden lies to the south of the churchyard. Here a small, early 19th century classical portico supported by Greek Doric columns stands against the west end of the rubble-stone churchyard wall. steps ascend at the rear of the temple to a small upper room. Parallel to the wall a mixed border is retained by a low drystone wall, while the lawn to the south is laid out with a symmetrical arrangement of two groups of four clipped domes of golden yew. These frame a pair of 18th century stone which comprise a fluted basin with masks supported by a spirally fluted baluster pedestal. To the east a stone stepped circular base partly planted with shrubs supports three stone columns which remain from a 19th century circular conservatory. The formal garden is enclosed to the east and south by trees and evergreen shrubbery, and together with the yew enclosures below the south terrace, was created by Frederick Townsend in the late 19th century. The stone-flagged terrace below the south facade of the Hall returns along the west facade, with a central square projection which until the late 19th century supported the early 19th century stone. This now terminates the north end of a gravel walk which runs below and parallel to the west terrace. The portico contains a small, wall-mounted marble fountain and basin, while a pair of 18th century stone recumbent figures, removed in the mid 20th century from the cascade, flank the portico. stone steps adjacent to the portico descend to a lower, grass terrace. To the north, overhung by mature yews, an alcove surrounded by rustic stone and partly enclosed by timber lattice contains a timber bench seat aligned on a view south up the river. The lawns and terraces replace formal gardens comprising a series of terraces, geometric enclosures and a pair of pavilions on the bank of the canalised. These features were removed by Joseph Townsend in the mid 18th century with the advice of Sanderson. A grass walk extends north along the river bank to reach the mid 18th century stepped cascade 100m west-north-west of the Hall. The cascade is flanked by flat-topped piers of partly vermiculated stone which contain recesses, originally arched but altered to a rectangular form in the 19th century. The piers were at one time surmounted by the recumbent figures which now flank the portico north-west of the Hall. Some 30m north-east of the cascade a level-topped mound surrounded by evergreen shrubbery is the site of the square Chinese seat shown in one of Thomas Robins' 1759 views. No visible trace of this structure remains today. The pleasure grounds to the west of the river were in the 18th century reached either by a boat, or by a walk which extended north from the Chinese seat along the river 700m to a point opposite Tredington Mill, where a bridge crossed the river. The pleasure grounds in Ray Wood to the west of the river comprise a walk, now a private footpath, which for part of its length runs between the River Stour and a serpentine backwater which was remodelled with the advice of Miller circa 1744. 160m west of the Hall and aligned on its west facade, the mid 18th century grotto remains. Vermiculated rocks are set into the east face of an earth mound; the grotto faces a heavily silted pool formed from the widened backwater. The walk continues south from the grotto, climbing to higher ground parallel to the Oxford road. Some 190m south-west of the Hall Ray Wood narrows. The boundary plantation is enclosed from the park by an 18th century ha-ha and late 20th century fences. The walk continues 450m south through Ray Wood before turning east across the park. Crossing Honington bridge the walk, today discernible as a raised mound, passes 130m north through the south-east park before entering evergreen shrubbery and continuing for 270m to re-enter the gardens south-east of the Hall.
2 Lovie reports late 17th century house originally with formal gardens but removed in 1740s. Pleasure grounds remodelled 19th century.
4 A series of probably post-medieval garden features are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1946. The site is centred on SP 26167 42724 and extends over an area which measures 84m east-west and 60m north-south. The site comprises a pair of lawn terraces, a boundary bank, suggesting a garden feature and a rectilinear mound. A pair of spoil heaps at the base of one of these terraces suggests further garden features. The boundary bank appears to have been levelled on aerial photographs taken in 1993 and is centred on SP 26160 42732. It is oriented NNW-SSE, across the lawn. The rectilinear mound is located at SP 26118 42704, directly in front of the house and against the drive. It measures 24 metres long by 16 metres wide, and appears to have been levelled on aerial photographs taken in 1953. This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme.

Source No: 1
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: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Warwickshire Register Review Data Tables (Stratford on Avon)
Author/originator: Lovie, Jonathan
Date: 1997
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: 4
Source Type: Desk Top Study
Title: SE Warwickshire and Cotswolds NMP Project
Author/originator: Russell Priest
Date: 2010-2012
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Statuatory List
Title: National Heritage List for England
Author/originator: Historic England
Page Number:
A view of the gardens at Honington Hall, Honington
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1920s
Click here for larger image  
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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.
technique Earthwork Earthworks can take the form of banks, ditches and mounds. They are usually created for a specific purpose. A bank, for example, might be the remains of a boundary between two or more fields. Some earthworks may be all that remains of a collapsed building, for example, the grassed-over remains of building foundations.

In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky than during the other seasons, earthworks have larger shadows. From the air, archaeologists are able to see the patterns of the earthworks more easily. Earthworks can sometimes be confusing when viewed at ground level, but from above, the general plan is much clearer.

Archaeologists often carry out an aerial survey or an earthwork survey to help them understand the lumps and bumps they can see on the ground.
technique Aerial Photograph Aerial photographs are taken during an aerial survey, which involves looking at the ground from above. It is usually easier to see cropmarks and earthworks when they are viewed from above. Aerial photographs help archaeologists to record what they see and to identify new sites. There are two kinds of aerial photographs; oblique and vertical. back
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 Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 – 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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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 POOL * A small body of water, either natural or artificial. back
monument CONSERVATORY * A glasshouse used to grow and display tender decorative plants. May be either an extension to a house or freestanding. back
monument GROTTO * A shady cavern built as a garden feature. In the 18th century it usually took the form of an artificial rocky cave or apartment decorated with stalactites and shells in a wild part of the grounds. 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 FOUNTAIN * An artificial aperture from which water springs. The water supply usually came from a lake or reservoir higher up in order to ensure the necessary flow and pressure. More recently fountains have been powered by pumps. 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 BOUNDARY BANK * An earthen bank that indicates the limit of an area or a piece of 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 MILL * A factory used for processing raw materials. Use more specific mill type where known. See also TEXTILE MILL, for more narrow terms. 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 GARDEN FEATURE * Unspecified landscape feature. Use more specific type where known. 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 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 PAVILION * A light, sometimes ornamental structure in a garden, park or place of recreation, used for entertainment or shelter. Use specific 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 CASCADE * An artificial fall of water often taking the form of a water staircase. back
monument BRIDGE * A structure of wood, stone, iron, brick or concrete, etc, with one or more intervals under it to span a river or other space. Use specific type where known. back
monument ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. 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 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 SPOIL HEAP * A conical or flat-topped tip of waste discarded from a mine or similar site. 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 COLUMN * Use for free standing column. back
monument LOGGIA * A covered arcade, often attached to a building, open on one or more sides. 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 STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument SUNDIAL * A structure used to show the time of day by means of the sun shining on a 'gnomon', the shadow of which falls on the surface of the dial which is marked with a diagram showing the hours. Can be freestanding, usually on a pillar, or fixed to a building. back
monument PLANTATION * A group of planted trees or shrubs, generally of uniform age and of a single species. back
monument ROW * A row of buildings built during different periods, as opposed to a TERRACE. back
monument ITALIAN GARDEN * A garden designed in the style of the elaborate gardens of the Renaissance, eg. formal, geometrical layouts of lawn and paths, stone steps, balustrades and statuary and fountains. 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 FOOTPATH * A path for pedestrians only. back
monument MOUND * A natural or artificial elevation of earth or stones, such as the earth heaped upon a grave. 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 TARGET * Any structure or object, used for the purpose of practice shooting by aerial, seaborne or land mounted weapons. back
monument SHRUBBERY * A plantation of shrubs. back
monument WALL * An enclosing structure composed of bricks, stones or similar materials, laid in courses. Use specific type where known. back
monument TEMPLE * Use for places of worship. For later landscape features use, eg. GARDEN TEMPLE. back
monument MIXED BORDER * A bed or border in which different species and colours are mixed. back
monument EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. 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