Babraham Hall 5630

Babraham, England, Cambridgeshire, South Cambridgeshire

Brief Description

Features include formal gardens, garden walls, a rockery and hedges.

History

Babraham Hall was established in the 16th century as a private residence.

Detailed Description

It is possible that Palavicino laid out elaborate gardens around the hall as a letter records a fine mansion surrounded by formal gardens. Palavicino died in 1600. His widow married Sir Oliver Cromwell, uncle of the future Lord Protector. In 1632, the estate was sold to Richard and Thomas Bennet and their cousin Hugh May, a well known architect. May supervised the construction of an extensive new watercourse for irrigation of the water-meadows in the 1650s.

The present hall was designed by Philip Hardwicke and built between 1833-37 for the Adeane family. To the south of the hall are two stone-edged beds in the large lawn. In the drought these show parch marks of scrollwork parterres. There is a rockery along the river frontage, which was a children's garden with a raised walk through alternating yews and box to a stone building (now in ruins). Along the River Granta is a pleached lime walk, and to the other side of the canal is a wide avenue of limes, planted 100 years ago, leading towards Sawston.

The village church lies to the west of the Hall and is surrounded by a yew hedge. A gateway in the red brick wall leads to the Petticoat Garden in which stands an elegant summerhouse. From this small garden a path leads to the first of three walled kitchen gardens which open onto the canalised river. To the north-west of the hall were extensive pleasure grounds.

Features
  • Rockery
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  • Parterre
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  • Lawn
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  • Pleached Trees
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  • Kitchen Garden
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  • Garden Wall
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  • Walk
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  • Path
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  • Summerhouse
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  • Mansion House (featured building)
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Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Babraham
History

Detailed History

Sir Horatio Palavicino, a wealthy Italian, became the owner of Babraham Hall during the reign of Elizabeth I. He showed great business acumen and was a spymaster for Elizabeth I, Lord Burghley and the Earl of Leicester. With his wealth he purchased Babraham in 1589 from Robert Taylor, who had built one of the finest Gothic houses in the country, within a large park.

In 1948 the estate was sold to the Agricultural Research Council, now the Babraham Institute. Several houses and buildings have been erected to accommodate the Institute.

Period

  • 16th Century
References

Contributors

  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust