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Cheverells

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Brief description of site

Beechwood is a 17th-century landscape park, redesigned in 1753 by Lancelot Brown. A formal garden was added in the mid-19th century. The park was reduced in size in the 20th century, with much of it being returned to arable. Only the grounds and gardens surrounding the house (now a school) survive.

Brief history of site

The first house was probably built for Sir Richard Page (d.1598) and extended and remodelled over the years. In 1754 Lancelot Brown was commissioned by Sir John Sebright to supply designs for the property. Here the thick woods were thinned, rather than extensive extra planting, as confirmed by his plan of 1754. In 1924 a census by the Forestry Commission recorded that one of the few remaining plantations of pure beech was situated at Beechwood Park. Much of the estate was sold in 1935; the Sebrights moved to Cheverells, and Beechwood was rented out. By 1961 it had been sold, to become Beechwood Park School in 1964. Much of the park has been returned to arable and many trees lost.

Location information:

Address: Beechwood Park School, Markyate, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 8AW

Locality: St Albans

Local Authorities:

Hertfordshire; Dacorum; Markyate

Historical County: Hertfordshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 166 Grid Ref: TL046144
Latitude: 51.8184 Longitude: -0.483879

Directions:

West of the A1 junction 9

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: school

Site first created: 1538 to 1869

Main period of development: Mid 18th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Site Size (Hectares): 24.2

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