Camerton Court 661

Bath, England

Brief Description

Camerton Court is an 18th-century park and formal garden, remodelled in the 1980s. The extended descriptions for this record date to the period of restoration, noting many new or part-completed garden buildings. For this reason the 'finished product' has not been described in this record.


The classical mansion was built to the design of G.S. Repton in 1835. The manor itself dates from before the Norman Conquest.

Detailed Description

This description dates to the time of the last survey in June, 1987:

Camerton Court occupies a low eminence with the parkland falling away to the east and west. The approach drive is bordered to the south by the walled kitchen garden. The wall has been recently restored. There are espalier pear and apples trained to the south face. The garden here is currently being rescued from dereliction, and is to be set out as a formal fruit, vegetable and pleasure garden.

There are a range of glasshouses within the walled cartilage. The east boundary is formed by the stable block, the site of an earlier manor house and now a separate residence, occupied by relatives of the owners.

South of this kitchen area is the site of the current phase of ornamental garden structures. A formal canal has been recently restored with an area of paving all round in salvaged stone. Opposite the eastern corners of the canal are two gazebos, formed from the two retaining walls and roofed over, the roof supported by ornamental columns.

A series of steps with piers lead down to the east, past a formal pond with a fountain and stone urns. The south flanking wall has decorative niches. In the recess there is a larger niche with water pipes protruding ready for the installation of a water feature. In the corners of the recess are two grotesque carved stone faces, salvaged from an older building.

To the south of the formal canal is a low rise to the boundary wall of St. Peter's Church, which adjoins Camerton Park. Under construction on this rise is a temple to be linked to the canal by a cascade. The curving paths to the temple site have been made and the plumbing for the cascade has been installed.

The drives to the house have been re-aligned to skirt the northern boundary to enter the courtyard from the north. The garden on both sides of the drive has been set out with much new planting. Mature trees include tulip tree, Indian horse chestnut, sequoia, Atlas cedar, cedar of Lebanon, cut-leaf beech, yew, oak, birch, beech and copper beech. Newer planting is in a ‘garden centre' style, with many dwarf conifers, acers and junipers. There is a young tulip tree, beech and sorbus. There is also a great deal of herbaceous planting.

The courtyard area is ornamented with cast-iron lamp-posts and salvaged architectural curios. The garden is freely adorned with statuary. Shepherds and nymphs predominate. The orangery has been completely renovated, and a new orangery has been built nearby. To the south of the house are new terraces with steps leading to a ha-ha, which separates the house from the park. The park itself is now let to pasture, though the owner has plans to create an artificial lake in the natural hollow astride the footpath. On the lower lawn is an unusual semi-circular seat with panels. It appears to be made of re-constituted stone or concrete, but has weathered to an antique appearance.

From the historic gardens point of view Camerton Court provides a rare and valuable insight into the construction of pleasure grounds. It has a bold, brash style, and the building work is of high quality. Some of the planting decisions may need to be revised in future years. However, this is exactly the way that many of the country's earlier lesser gardens were laid out.

  • Pond
  • Description: Formal pond.
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  • Temple
  • Description: The relates to the site of a proposed temple, which was under construction in 1987.
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  • Cascade
  • Description: Proposed cascade, partly installed at the time of the last site visit in 1987.
  • Water Feature
  • Description: This feature consists of a wall, niche and proposed water feature.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: Stable block, now residence.
  • Terrace
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  • Rockery
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  • Lake
  • Description: Site of proposed lake. This feature may or may not actually exist.
  • Planting
  • Description: Walled garden, recently restored.
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The classical mansion was built to the design of G.S. Repton in 1835 for John Jarrett.
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Ornamental Canal, Gazebo, Icehouse, Lawn, Garden Seat, Ha-ha

Civil Parish

  • Camerton

Detailed History

The manor of Camerton (then Camelastone) was granted to the monks of Glastonbury by King Alfred, with the consent of King Eldred. The Conqueror gave it to the Earl of Morton, who exchanged it for Tintinhull with the Abbot of Glastonbury, who thereby regained his former possession. In the reign of Henry I, Abbot Herlewin gave the manor to Sir Richard de Cotelle. The Abbey later re-gained it from the family of Cotelle.

In 1343, Oliver Dinham, of the Dinhams of Buckland Dinham, held the manor. He was succeeded by Sir William Asthorpe, who married the eldest daughter of Oliver Dinham. It then passed to Robert Paulton, then to his brother Sir William Paulton. The manor was then divided, but was re-united by 1483 when it was in the possession of the Carew family of Pembrokeshire. They held it until the mid-18th century, when it was sold to Philip Stephens. It was subsequently purchased by John Jarrett, who was succeeded by his two spinster daughters, the last of whom died in 1911.

The estate was then bought by Sir Frank Beauchamp, K.B.E. Bart., and rented by Major Veitch and Captain. R.I.H. Kinloch, who used the house for entertaining foreign visitors.

The classical mansion was built to the design of G.S. Repton in 1835 for John Jarrett. ‘It consists of a main square block, with a projecting wing on the east side. A bold and handsome portico supported by massive pillars is the principal entrance on the north side, while pillars of a similar design forming a colonnade relieve the south front. Its situation is particularly happy, and the park, stretching away to the east and west by reason of the natural formation of the land, lends itself to artistic treatment. On the edge of the park stands the parish church, dedicated to St. Peter.'

Associated People



  • Stewart Harding


  • Avon Gardens Trust