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HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Sir Walter Mildmay (d 1606/7) acquired the manor of Pishobury and the associated park by 1576 (VCH), and rebuilt the manor house c 1585. The estate was sold by the family in 1611 to Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, for whom Inigo Jones designed the porch and other alterations in 1615 (Harris 1979). By 1700 the estate comprised, according to Chauncy:

A very neat and fair pile of building for the Mannor House upon a rising ground in the vale near the River Stort, which courses about 20 acres of ground on the East side of the house, lately converted into a paddock for deer, adorned in front thereof with a fair bowling green raised about 5 foot high enclosed with a brick wall topped with stone balls upon it and 2 fair walks planted with trees, each walk extending about 4 furlongs in length from the house to the road.

The engraving accompanying this description depicts a walled forecourt on the west, entrance front of the house, with a pavilion set into the north-east corner of the forecourt. The ground beyond to the west, in which stands a tree house, is also planted with an avenue leading to the entrance to the forecourt, and fishermen stand to the north on the river bank.

By 1766 (Dury and Andrews) the park had been laid out formally with four avenues of trees, and several rectangular enclosures around the house, and possibly kitchen gardens on the site of the present kitchen garden (see below). Shortly after this the house was destroyed by fire, and rebuilt on the same site c 1782-4 by Jeremiah Miles, under the direction of James Wyatt. At the same time Lancelot Brown (1716-83) may also have been called in to work on the park (Stroud 1975). He is reputed to have removed some of the avenues and supervised the construction of the lake, but probably did not have any great involvement in carrying out the works as he died in 1783.

A sale plan of c 1844 shows the landscape park, enclosed to the north and west by belts, and to the east by the sinuous lake, but retaining the remains of avenue planting, particularly along the two main drives. The layout of the grounds remained much the same during the rest of the C19, and into the C20 when the estate (which had become known as Pishiobury in the mid to late C19) was sold into divided ownership. Areas along the west boundary, flanking the west drive and around the kitchen gardens, have been the subject of housing development.

People associated with this site

Designer: Lancelot Brown (born 1716 died 06/02/1783)

Architect: James Wyatt (born 1747 died 1813)

Features

gate lodge

Rowney Lodge, a small, single-storey brick lodge.

river

The south-east boundary is marked by the River Stort (Navigation).

walk

Oak Walk.