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Cornwallis House & Grove House


This is a communal garden, formerly the garden of 'La Retraite' private school.

The houses are approached by a gated driveway to the west of the site. There is a mature maple nearby. This drive, leading to the car park and then to the communal garden, is flanked by a walled bank of mature trees including yew and holm oak, with holly and laurel shrubs. Approximately half-way between the two houses, up the bank, there is a statue of Jesus and a series of steps. Nearby is a Victorian water pump, no longer in use. On the south side of the drive, near to the gate, is a fenced garden, presumably part of the Cancer Help Centre. This has south-facing sloping lawns and a shrubbery down to Cornwallis Crescent Road.

The main garden to the east of Cornwallis House consists mainly of undulating lawn with mature trees, including horse chestnut, holm oak and cedar of Lebanon. Newer planting includes weeping willow, spruces, cherry and young horse chestnut. Hazel has been planted along the northern retaining stone wall. Along this south-facing wall are old garden sheds which are generally neglected. There is a small terrace to the south of Cornwallis House with a fine magnolia.

The main garden appears to be well-maintained. It is not apparent whether this is through communal effort or by a part-time gardener. Parts of the garden to the south of the two houses appears to be privately owned and well-maintained by the owners or occupiers.


Little is known about the site before it became a school known as ‘La Retraite'. Now, part of the site has been converted to a ‘sensitive development of 21 flats' and part is used as a Cancer Help Centre.


  • 18th Century (1701 to 1800)
  • Late 18th Century (1775 to 1799)
Features & Designations


  • Conservation Area

  • Reference: Clifton
  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: Cornwallis House
  • Grade: II


  • House (featured building)
  • Description: There are two principal buildings:Grove House dates to the late-18th century. It has been much altered and added to, the original facades being incorporated into a much larger building.Cornwallis House dates to the late-18th century, with considerable modern extensions.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Lawn
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Mature trees include horse chestnut, holm oak and cedar of Lebanon.
  • Gardens
  • School
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


18th Century (1701 to 1800)


Part: standing remains