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SITE DESCRIPTION

LOCATION

Burton Agnes Hall and its grounds lie on the north side of the A614, approximately 6 miles south-west of Bridlington and 35 miles east of York.

AREA

The present area of gardens and parkland to the north enclosed by the Rudston Road and the Woodland Walks is 47.5 acres (19 ha). To this can be added the 61. 5 acres (25 ha) of land east of the gardens and north of the Bridlington Road that was shown as planted in a parklike manner with clumps of trees. This includes the field enclosed to the south and east by New Lane, and the fields directly east up to the boundary with Thornholme township.

In total the historic parkland and gardens at its greatest extent is 109 acres (44 ha).

BOUNDARIES

The western boundary is the Rudston road. Woodland (The Walks) marks short stretches of the northern and eastern boundaries. From the southern end of the Walks the park boundary runs east to the township boundary between Burton Agnes and Thornholme, then south to the Bridlington road. The southern boundary of the parkland is the Bridlington Road and a small section of Back Lane; the gardens of Burton Agnes hall extend south to the green known as Maypole Hill.

LANDFORM

The parkland and gardens lie towards the lowest edge of the south-eastern dip slope of the Wolds. The land rises south to north from 25m to over 45m AOD. The bedrock is chalk (Flamborough Chalk Formation) and the surface deposit is boulder clay (Till of the Devensian period).

SETTING

Burton Agnes Hall and grounds lies in East Riding Landscape Character Assessment Area 19C North Holderness Open Farmland. An area dominated by open arable farmland which provides the setting for the parkland.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

The entrance to the hall and gardens is through the Elizabethan gatehouse, immediately north of Maypole Green, at the centre of the village of Burton Agnes.

PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS

Burton Agnes Hall Listed Grade I

The hall, of red brick with stone dressings, three storeys high, was built 1601-10 by Sir Henry Griffith, probably to the designs of the leading architect Robert Smythson. It follows a traditional courtyard plan, with four ranges set round a small inner courtyard. The windows were altered by Sir Griffith Boynton in the early 18th century. (Pevsner & Neave, Yorkshire: York & ER, 367) The interior retains outstanding Elizabethan woodwork and plasterwork.

Gatehouse Listed Grade I

The three-storey embattled gatehouse, contemporary with the hall, is also built of red brick with stone dressings. It has four octagonal corner turrets. The coat of arms of James I is set above the central archway.

Norman manor house Listed Grade I

The original manor house stands to the west of Burton Agnes Hall, between the hall and the church. It was encased in brick in the early 18th century but retains a 12th-century vaulted undercroft with great hall above.

Stables Listed Grade II

New stables for the house, with accommodation for grooms and coachmen above, were built south-east of the hall in 1859.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GARDENS

The garden area between the gatehouse and south front of the hall has retained the layout shown on the OS plan of 1890. An avenue of clipped yews runs down the central gravelled walk, with the statue of the discus thrower still in place. The lawned area to the east of the house now has the ponds which were introduced in the 1970s.

The woodland gardens to the north of the hall, first planted in the 18th century, survive. A path runs northwards through the gardens and up steps flanked by what appear to be wasters from the estate brickworks which flourished in the late 19th-early 20th century.

The woodland walk was newly planted in 1998. There are contemporary sculptures of birds, animals and insects, by Leonard Boydell, amongst the trees. (Neave & Neave. ‘Burton Agnes Estate', 410)

KITCHEN GARDEN

The 19th century OS plan shows the large walled kitchen garden in its present location, south-east of the hall. In the early 20th century vegetables, fruit and flowers for the house were still grown here; there were two herbaceous borders and extensive greenhouses. Later in the century it developed as a market garden, but by the 1970s this had become uneconomical, and most of the area was laid to grass. The old kitchen garden is the location of the ‘New Elizabethan Garden' laid out by Susan Cunfliffe Lister from c. 1980 onwards. (Cunliffe-Lister, Making of a New Elizabethan Garden, 1)

PARK

The former parkland is now used as agricultural land, sometimes laid down to pasture but often ploughed up for arable crops. A few clumps of trees survive, particularly in the fields east of the woodland gardens and hall.

Detailed description contributed by Yorkshire Gardens Trust 31/10/2014  

REFERENCES

Books and articles

K.J. Allison (ed), Victoria County History, Yorkshire E. Riding, II, Oxford University Press, 1974

S. Cunliffe-Lister, The Making of a New Elizabethan Garden, Burton Agnes Hall Preservation Trust Limited, n.d.

E.W. Griffiths (ed.), Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary, being the Diary of Celia Fiennes, 1888.

I. Hall (ed.), Samuel Buck's Yorkshire Sketchbook, 1979

M. Imrie, The Manor Houses of Burton Agnes and their Owners, 1993

D. and S. Neave, ‘The Burton Agnes Estate', in Burton Constable, Sledmere & Burton Agnes Country House Estate Trail, Burton Constable Foundation 2007, 37-48

N. Pevsner & D. Neave, Buildings of England: Yorkshire, York and the East Riding, 1995

Primary sources

Hull History Centre (HCC), Wickham-Boynton of Burton Agnes Mss (WB)

John Rylands Library, University of Manchester (JRL), English MS 1126 - Dorothy Richardson's Journal

Maps

Printed:

T. Jefferys, Yorkshire, 1772 & 1776

R. Teesdale, Yorkshire, surveyed 1817-18, published 1828

Ordnance survey plans 1854-2012

Owner: Burton Agnes Hall Preservation Trust

Site designation(s)

Conservation Area Reference The gardens, but not parkland, are included in Burton Agnes Conservation Area

Principal building:

country house Created 1601 to 1610 by Robert Smythson

The hall, of red brick with stone dressings, three storeys high, was built 1601-10 by Sir Henry Griffith, probably to the designs of the leading architect Robert Smythson. It follows a traditional courtyard plan, with four ranges set round a small inner courtyard.

Designation status: The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building Grade I

Environment

Terrain: The parkland and gardens lie towards the lowest edge of the south-eastern dip slope of the Wolds. The land rises south to north from 25m to over 45m AOD.

Underlying geology: Chalk.

Soil type/s: Boulder clay.

External web site link: http://www.burtonagnes.com/Home.html

External web site link: http://www.hha.org.uk/Site/Custom/Property.aspx?id=1359&rg=&co=-1&tp=0&pd=-1&me=&mn=&mr=10&vw=0&st=n&nm=

External web site link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/burton-agnes-manor-house/