Information for record number MWA6954:
Formal Gardens at Upton House

Summary Formal gardens surrounding Upton House, mainly dating to the 20th century. The gardens may overlie Formal gardens which surrounded the Post Medieval House.
What Is It?  
Type: Formal Garden, Pool, Garden Terrace, Walk, Balustrade, Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Bog Garden
Period: Modern (1601 AD - 2050 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Ratley and Upton
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 36 45
(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  

1 <6 > GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS Formal gardens lie to the south of the House, with further informal pleasure grounds to the south-east and in the valley to the west. Stone steps with wrought-iron balustrades descend from the GARDEN door in the south façade to two early 20th century terraces designed by Morley Horder in 1927-9 and planted 1930 by Kitty Lloyd. The upper terrace has a flagged walk running from east to west between panels of lawn, with a flower border below the House. To the east, south and west the terrace is retained by Stone walls and balustrades which sweep down from the east and west. The west balustrade allows views down to a small Formal garden, Lady Bearsted's GARDEN, at the south-west corner of the House. A central flagged walk extends south from the House to a flight of Stone steps which descends to the lower terrace which comprises a wide grass walk flanked to north and south by flower borders. To the south the terrace is retained by a low Stone wall with saddle coping, while axially placed Stone steps flanked by a pair of Stone urns descend south to the lawn. To the west, the lower terrace leads to a short flight of Stone steps which descends to a short grass walk, from which steps ascend south to the lawn, and descend north to a paved Formal garden. The paved GARDEN at the south-west corner of the House was designed to be seen from Lady Bearsted's bedroom above and comprises two divisions separated by a yew hedge. To the east a roughly cruciform area of paving separates four borders of low shrubs, while the west compartment has a central circular area of geometric paving with a central staddle stone and corner beds planted with fuchsias. To the north is a Stone bench seat set in an alcove in the south wall of the early 20th century gallery, on which figs are trained, while to the west a Stone balustrade allows views down to the Banqueting House and Bog Garden in the valley west of the House. The early 20th century terraces replace simple grass banks, steps and a geometric parterre set in grass. From the second terrace, Stone steps flanked by Stone urns replacing 18th century French bronze urns stolen circa 1970 descend to a level lawn which extends to the full width of the House and some 60m south from the terraces. To the west the lawn is enclosed by four mature cedars dating from circa 1740 and by yews which stand to the west of a 19th century tiled base for a seat or summerhouse circa 40m south-west of the House. To the east, a shallow grass bank ascends to an early 20th century rock garden designed and planted by Kitty Lloyd Jones. The rock garden extends along the east side of the lawn, returning at the south-east corner to enclose a mid 20th century rectangular swimming pool on its north and east sides. To the east of the pool a wide flight of Stone steps ascends to a semicircular lawn and painted timber seat which are sheltered by shrubs planted on the rockwork. Informal steps and paths lead through the rock garden to join a walk which leads south-east to reach an area of informal planting on the south-facing slope east of the garden terraces. To the south, the lawn is retained by a brick wall which acts as a ha-ha. The steep slope below the south lawn is laid out in four parallel terrace walks. The upper terrace comprises a grass walk with shrubs and roses trained on the brick retaining wall to the north. A grass slope at the east end of the terrace is flanked by yew topiary and descends to the second terrace which is aligned on a doorway in a high, late 17th or early 18th century brick wall which encloses the terraces to the east. The second terrace comprises a grass walk flanked to the north by a low drystone wall which retains the south-facing bank between the upper and second terraces. The third terrace has a grass walk with the shrubbery bank to the north retained by a low rockwork wall, and a wide border to the south. The border is backed by a high, late 17th century or early 18th century brick wall, to the south of which lies the fourth terrace which overlooks the kitchen garden below. The terraces are linked to the west by a monumental Stone staircase which descends the slope from the south-west corner of the lawn in alternating single and double returning flights. Constructed in Hornton Stone with balustrades and drystone retaining walls which incorporate planting pockets, the staircase was designed in outline by Morley Horder, but correspondence shows that its detailed design and execution was supervised by Kitty Lloyd. Stone walls flanking the upper flight of the staircase are surmounted by Stone ball finials which replaced a further pair of 18th century French bronze urns which were stolen in the 1970s. Below the terraced gardens lies the kitchen garden, to the east of which is a sloping grass walk. To the west of the kitchen garden are three terraced garden enclosures of varying size. To the north, a narrow enclosure aligned on a curved, painted wooden seat is planted with standard hibiscus. Below, a square GARDEN, known as Her Ladyship's GARDEN, has cruciform Stone-flagged walks separating geometric mixed beds. The southern terrace, is a rose garden with flagged walks separating geometric beds. A lead figure surmounts a tapering pedestal at the centre of the GARDEN. To the south of the kitchen garden, and separated from it by a row of mature standard apple trees and specimen shrubs, lies an approximately rectangular fishpond of 17th century or earlier origin. This pond, retained to the east by a high earth dam planted with trees and shrubs, is the lowest within the GARDENs of a chain. The pond is surrounded by grass walks, and to the south by a late 17th or early 18th century brick wall which marks the southern boundary of the GARDENs. To the west, the slope forming the dam to the lowest pond in the valley west of the House is planted as a nuttery. The pleasure grounds in the valley west and south-west of the House are enclosed by late 17th or early 18th century brick walls to the south, west and north, while to the north, the valley is overlooked by a late 17th century two-storey brick Banqueting House which stands 60m west of the House. The late 18th century estate plan shows five ponds, of which four were approximately rectangular in plan, while the second pond from the north was of a more complex 'H' plan. Of this chain of ponds, only the western half of the second pond from the north survives, 100m south-west of the House. The southern pond, a narrow canal, is now filled in and forms a broad grass walk to the south of the second pond from the south, 150m south-west of the House, which survives as a steep-sided rectangular depression. The rectangular depression of the northern pond was utilised by Miss Lloyd Jones in the 1930s to form the Bog Garden. Here a spring rising in the 'Monk's Well', an early 18th century brick vaulted chamber 100m west of the House, feeds a pond of rocky, irregular outline, which in turn flows into a naturalistic stream whose concrete channel is disguised by rockwork and planting. A network of grass paths runs through the Bog Garden, carried over the stream on a rustic Stone bridge south-east of the Monk's Well, and the stream broadens into a pond at the southern end of the GARDEN, where a further rustic Stone bridge crosses the outflow. The west-facing slope above the Bog Garden and below the south lawn has two terraced walks running from north to south, and a further transverse walk which ascends north-east to Lady Bearsted's GARDEN at the south-west corner of the House. The lowest terrace is retained by a coped Stone wall, above which are several mature yew trees to the west of a gravel walk. The second terrace is retained by a brick wall with Stone coping, with further yew trees lining the west side of the walk above. The GARDENs today represent an early and min 20th century remodelling of an existing late 17th or early 18th century structure under the supervision of Kitty Lloyd Jones, with architectural elements designed by Percy Morley Horder. The 1774 estate plan shows that the chain of fishponds, walled garden and Banqueting House in the west valley, the terraces on the west- and south-facing slopes and the south fishpond formed part of the layout of the late 17th and 18th century GARDENs.
3 The Grotto in the Bog Garden, 'Monk's Well' is so named because Upton was held in the twelfth century by the canons of St Sepulchre's at Warwick. It is possible that the GARDEN has been continuously cultivated from this time. Tradition has it that a series of stewponds in the valley was created by the monks to supply fish for the table. Little is known about the subsequent history of the GARDEN until Upton was bought by Sir Rushour Cullen in 1688. The walls running down the east side and forming the southern boundary of the GARDEN were part of his work. The large yews on the slope to the right of the lawn were probably part of a series of terraces lined with clipped yew. He was also responsibel for remodelling the stewponds to form a series of six regular rectangular ponds The temple pool - enlarged by Robert Child in 1775. Until the House was bought in 1927 by Lord Bearsted, the main emphasis in the GARDEN was the production of food: fruit, nuts, vegetables and fish. From then onwards Lord and Lady Bearsted greatly improved the ornamental value of the GARDEN.
5 Lovie reports that 20th century GARDEN's structural elements include two terraces below the south front fo the House, a small paved GARDEN adjacent to the Gallery, and monumental steps at the south west corner of the lawn; all probably the work of Lord Bearsted's architect from 1927, Percy Morley Horder. Lovie further states that Upton House is a complex landscape, with important elements surviving from the late 17th century, an d from the mid-18th century when Francis Child was advised by Sanderson Miller.

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: LB description - Upton House (Garden)
Date: Unknown
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Upton House
Author/originator: Simon Murray / Oliver Lane
Date: 1996
Page Number: 1-72
Source No: 4
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Warwickshire Register Review Data Tables (Stratford on Avon)
Author/originator: Lovie, Jonathan
Date: 1997
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Warwickshire Register Review Report & Recommendations
Author/originator: Lovie, Jonathan
Date: 1997
Page Number:
Source No: 6
Source Type: Statuatory List
Title: National Heritage List for England
Author/originator: Historic England
Page Number:
Gardens at Upton House
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Click here for larger image  
back to top


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.
more ->
period Post Medieval About 1540 AD to 1750 AD (the 16th century AD to the 18th century AD)

The Post Medieval period comes after the medieval period and before the Imperial period.

This period covers the second half of the reign of the Tudors (1485 – 1603), the reign of the Stuarts (1603 – 1702) and the beginning of the reign of the Hannoverians (1714 – 1836).
more ->
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.
more ->
monument POOL * A small body of water, either natural or artificial. back
monument ROSE GARDEN * A garden, often geometrical in layout, or area for the cultivation of roses. back
monument BOG GARDEN * A soft, marshy garden, often peat-based where water- and peat-loving plants are grown. back
monument TERRACED GARDEN * A garden with one or more platforms with walks, often on different levels, usually close to the house. 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 BORDER * A strip of ground forming a fringe to a garden. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FISHPOND * A pond used for the rearing, breeding, sorting and storing of fish. back
monument KITCHEN GARDEN * A private garden established primarily for growing vegetables and herbs for domestic consumption. back
monument CANAL * An artificial navigable waterway used for the transportation of goods. Nowadays also used for recreational purposes. 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 POND * A body of still water often artificially formed for a specific purpose. Use specifc type where known. back
monument PATH * A way made for pedestrians, especially one merely made by walking (often not specially constructed). back
monument ROCKWORK * An area of either natural or artificial stone arranged to resemble a rocky outcrop or cliff face within animal cages/enclosures of a Zoo. 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 PARTERRE * A level space in a garden occupied by ornamental flower beds. back
monument WELL * A shaft or pit dug in the ground over a supply of spring-water. 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 STADDLE STONE * Mushroom-shaped stones used to raise the floor of barns, granaries etc. above ground level, to prevent vermin gaining access to stored grain and fodder. 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 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 ROCK GARDEN * A garden consisting primarily of rocks and rock plants. back
monument SUMMERHOUSE * A building in a garden or park designed to provide a shady retreat from the heat of the sun. 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 HEDGE * Usually a row of bushes or small trees planted closely together to form a boundary between pieces of land or at the sides of a road. back
monument ROW * A row of buildings built during different periods, as opposed to a TERRACE. back
monument CROSS * A free-standing structure, in the form of a cross (+), symbolizing the structure on which Jesus Christ was crucified and sacred to the Christian faith. Use specific type where known. back
monument WALLED GARDEN * A garden surrounded by a substantial wall. back
monument SPRING * A point where water issues naturally from the rock or soil onto the ground or into a body of surface water. 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 STREAM * A natural flow or current of water issuing from a source. 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 TEMPLE * Use for places of worship. For later landscape features use, eg. GARDEN TEMPLE. back
monument RETAINING WALL * A wall constructed for the purpose of confining or supporting a mass of earth or water. 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
monument BANQUETING HOUSE * A hall, apartment or large room, designed or used primarily for festive or state functions. back
monument TERRACED WALK * A walk, common in 18th century gardens, providing a view across the surrounding countryside. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record