Barnwell 288

Peterborough, England, Northamptonshire, East Northamptonshire

Brief Description

Barnwell features the earthwork remains of a formal garden originally attached to a late medieval manor house. The site, which occupies about 0.75 hectares, closely resembles a plan of 1716.


Little is known about the history of the site, the chief house of the manor of Barnwell All Saints.

Detailed Description

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

Earthwork remains, including a raised walk and terraces, of probably a 16th- and 17th-century garden, associated with a now demolished manor house.


Barnwell All Saints lies on the east side of the A605 from Oundle, 4km to the north, to Thrapston. The village lies immediately south of and adjoins that of Barnwell St Andrew, up a small side valley opening onto the main valley of the Nene, which lies 1.5km to the west. The registered area, the site of the manor house of Barnwell All Saints and its gardens, lies immediately west of the churchyard of Barnwell All Saints' church. Of that only the chancel remains.


The field containing the earthworks is entered via a wicket in the south-west corner of the churchyard. A bridleway from this leads south across the registered area.


The manor house lay 50m west of All Saints' church, and was demolished at an unknown date subsequent to 1716. Its earthworks are well preserved. In 1716, when a plan of the manorial complex was prepared (reproduced in RCHM(E) 1975, 13), it comprised a hall with, to the north, a cross wing containing the kitchen and, to the south, a parlour. North of the parlour was a small back court with brewhouse and other service buildings. Hall, parlour and kitchen had bay windows facing east onto the Inner Court (now largely within a vegetable garden), down the north side of which were stables. These abutted a gatehouse on the north-east corner of the court, which gave access to the tree-lined Outer Court, which ran down the outside of the north wall of the churchyard to the village street.

The church of All Saints, outside and north-east of the registered area, was almost wholly demolished c 1825. All that was retained was the chancel, the burial place of the Montagus.


The earthworks within the registered area correspond broadly with features shown on a 1716 plan of the gardens which assists in their interpretation. They form part of a larger complex contained within a ditch which lies behind (west of) the houses and gardens along the village street (for plan see RCHM(E) 1975, 14). Some 50m west of the upstanding portion of the church are the irregular but pronounced earthworks which mark the site of the manor house. Thirty metres to the west is a rectangular pond; another pond lies 100m to the south. The last lies at the west end of a straight, 70m long, raised walk, 1.5m high and c 7m wide, running from east to west. Although this is the most pronounced earthwork feature, and it lies along the south boundary of the garden mapped in 1716, it is not shown on that map. From the raised walk there is a long view over the fields to the south as well as to the north, over the remains of the pleasure garden which lay between it and the manor house. Those remains comprise two 70m long north/south terraces running south from the earthworks of the house, which correspond with two gravel terraces shown on the map of 1716. East of these the ground is lower, and represents the area shown in 1716 occupied by 'garden knotts', unfortunately not delineated. This part of the garden lay due south of the house's Inner Court, and there was a gate between the two. Between the raised walk and the south end of the terraces is a roughly level area c 50m wide; this corresponds with an area described merely as 'Garden' in 1716, but which the annotation suggests may have been planted with fruit.

The date of the garden's creation is unknown. Both on stylistic and family historical grounds a date in the later C16 or early C17 is most probable.


The Victoria History of the County of Northamptonshire 3, (1930), pp 173-6

N Pevsner and B Cherry, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire (1973), p 102

Roy Comm Hist Mons Engl Inventories: Northamptonshire 1, (1975), pp 12-16


OS 6" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1901

OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1900

Description written: 1998

Register Inspector: PAS

Edited: January 2000

  • Walk
  • Description: Raised walk - earthwork.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Terrace
  • Description: Terraces - earthwork remains.
  • Earliest Date:

Civil Parish

  • Barnwell

Detailed History

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):


Little is known about the history of the site, the chief house of the manor of Barnwell All Saints. The manor was sold in 1548 to Sir Edward Montagu, and from that time until at least the earlier 20th century it descended with that of Barnwell St Andrew (see description of this site elsewhere in the Register). All Saints contains tombs of the Montagus, earls of Sandwich, including Dame Letice Montagu (died 1611) and Henry Montagu (died 1625), infant son of Sir Sidney Montagu. The last especially, an obelisk, is a very fine memorial and hints at the wealth and tastes of the family at about the time the gardens were laid out. In the early 18th century, when the house and its associated garden was planned, it was tenanted by Mrs Elizabeth Creed (died 1714), philanthropist and artist, a member by birth of the Montagu family.


  • Medieval (1066-1540)