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Brief description of site

Burford House was built for William Bowles around 1728, when he bought the estate and grounds. The gardens were improved and expanded, and by the 19th century they were extensive, including an avenue and a garden house. The gardens were completely replanted in 1954.

Brief history of site

The estate of Burford had been in the hands of the Cornwall family since the middle ages. Around 1720, it was sold to William Bowles, who built the current house and extended the grounds. The estate was purchased by Mr John Treasure and his brother in 1954, who reduced the house in size, completely replanted the gardens, and opened the grounds to the public in 1958.

Location information:

Address: Buford House, Burford, , WR15 8HG

Locality: Tenbury Wells, Shropshire

Historical County: Shropshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 138 Grid Ref: SO582680
Latitude: 52.3085 Longitude: -2.61451

Visitor facilities

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: great house

Site first created: 1728

Main period of development: Early 18th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 3


Principal building:

Country house Created 1728 to 1954

Burford House is a plain red-brick house of six bays. The main doorway with a broken pediment of Doric columns is of 1825. The later wings were demolished when the house was downsized and remodeled in the 1950s.

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In the very late-17th or early-18th-century, Sir Francis Cornwall, owner of Burford, deserted his wife and emigrated to Jamaica. His daughter and heir married George Legh, of High Legh, Cheshire, and took on the estate. William Bowles, MP for Bewdley and proprietor of Vauxhall Glass Works, bought Burford from the Leghs around 1720, and in 1728, built the current house and proceded to expand and design the grounds. He had intended for the grounds to also have an extensive deer park, and had bought Burford from the Leghs under the impression that it had one. Six years of litigation followed when he found out that it did not.

In 1954 the house and grounds were sold to Mr John Treasure and his brother. They reduced the house in size, taking away the wings, and began extensive replanting of the gardens. The gardens were first opened to the public in 1958, and have remained so ever since. The modern garden features flowers, meadow, and woodland, and is particularly known for its clematis collection, which intertwines with a great variety of other roses, shrubs, and unusual perennials.

Site timeline

1954 to 1958: Mr John Treasure and his brother bought the estate in 1954. The house was reduced in size, completely replanted the gardens, and opened the grounds to the public in 1958.

People associated with this site

Owner: William Bowles (Known to have been active 1700 to 1799)

Owner: Bernard John Treasure (born 1911 died 1993)


garden house

Feature created: 1728

The garden house has a pediment of four Tuscan columns, with a wrought-iron grille featuring William Bowles' arms in the pediment (Pevnser 1974, 92).


Feature created: 1800 to 1899

Burford House was approached through the grounds from the north by a short, broad avenue.

ornamental bridge

Feature created: 1700 to 1799

A Georgian turfed bridge spans the Ledwyche Brook and connects to an area of wildflowers, trees, and meadow.


The current planting features irregular island beds with shrubs and herbaceous perennials, as well as clematis vines and roses.

Planted: 1954


Organisations associated with this site

Shropshire Parks & Gardens Trust

Sources of information

Country Life, Vol. 52

Country Life, Vol. 52, 1947: 1310-1313

List of Historic Buildings: Ludlow Rural District

List of Historic Buildings: Ludlow Rural District, (Ludlow: Ludlow Rural District, 1974)

Map of the County of Shropshire, 1827

Greenwood, C. and J. Map of the County of Shropshire, (London: Greenwood and Co., 1827)

Some Shropshire Gardens

Palmer, B. and A. Some Shropshire Gardens, (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Books, 1990)

The Buildings of England: Shropshire

Newman, J. and Pevsner, N. The Buildings of England: Shropshire, (London: Yale University Press, 2006)


  • Burford House, summerhouse, (1994)

    Burford House, summerhouse, (1994)