The Cowbridge Old Hall 4304

Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Brief Description

The grounds of the old hall were landscaped by the Edmondes family in the mid-18th century. After use as a school from the 1930s to the 1960s, the site became derelict and was then converted for public use. There is now a library, health centre and adult eductaion centre. Substantial changes were made to the gardens during this process.

History

Detailed History

The plot had originally contained several houses. In the mid-18th century the site was taken over by the Edmondes family, who added a new suite to the south side of the house, giving it a classical frontage and forming a new garden front. A promenade was laid out in front of the house, and the grounds were landscaped. A summerhouse was built onto the south-west bastion. A lease document of 1778 encourages the incoming tenant to do everything possible ‘to the preserving, cherishing and encouraging the fruit trees and other trees of ornament and profit planted and growing...and to the due orderly and seasonal manuring, cultivating and cropping of all such of the said garden as is now laid out and used for garden ornaments and yearly crops for the supply of the House and the Kitchen'.

The Edmondes family held the estate until it was taken over by the Grammar School in 1932. The grounds were well-maintained by a head gardener. The school moved out of the buildings in 1964, after which the site became derelict. A health centre and library were built there in 1973-4. As part of this process, a much-admired mature copper beech was felled, part of the wall around the walled garden was removed and parts of the house were demolished. This included the south front, which was reduced to a single-storey façade. The remaining parts of the building were used as an adult education centre.

References

References