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Dullingham House


Pleasure grounds and a landscape park designed by Humphry Repton between 1799 and 1802 surround the house built in 1749. The grounds of 32 hectares are regarded as fine example of Repton's work. The walled forecourt was replaced with a lawn and trees and to the north of the house are wide lawns and herbaceous borders set against extensive walls. The walls are broken by a claire-voie which allows views across to the park across an octagonal banked bowling green which is surrounded by yews. The park is now sub-divided into paddocks and the former stables and walled kitchen garden have been developed separately for residential use.


The ground in the north park is virtually flat until it falls gently to the north side of the House, while to the south the land falls away from the House to the road and then rises slightly to the boundary.

The house stands in a triangular shaped park gently sloping to the south. The pleasure grounds to the north are early-18th century. In September 1799 Humphrey Repton was called in to landscape the grounds. Repton's Red Book of 1802 proposed replacing the walled forecourt with a lawn and trees, and laying the road-side stream in brick culverts under this lawn. Both of these proposals were carried out so that Dullingham is a good example of Repton's work.

To the north of the house are wide lawns and herbaceous borders against extensive walls. The walls are broken by a claire-voie with a vista to the park, across an octagonal banked bowling green surrounded by yews.

The garden has been improved by the present owners with extensive new planting and timber garden structures. Today the park is sub-divided into paddocks. The entrance gates no longer lead to the house and the adjacent stable block and extensive walled kitchen gardens have been developed into individual houses with private gardens.

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):

Early 18th century pleasure grounds and 19th century park to the north of a mid 18th century house, with a south park and view laid out by Humphry Repton, who produced a Red Book in 1802.



Dullingham House is situated c 4km south of the town of Newmarket, in the centre of the small village of Dullingham. The park is bisected by Station Road, the village street which runs east/west to the south of the House, and is divided from the street on the north side by an early C19 flint and brick wall (listed grade II). The c 32ha site is roughly triangular, bounded to the north-west by Eagle Lane, to the east by the minor Newmarket to Stetchworth road, and to the south by farmland. It is almost entirely enclosed by perimeter plantations, with gaps in the south boundary giving views out beyond the park. The ground in the north park is virtually flat until it falls gently to the north side of the House, while to the south the land falls away from the House to the road and then rises slightly to the boundary.


The main entrance to Dullingham House is through a simple gateway off Station Road, to the east of the House. The drive runs west-north-west past the stable block and up to the south front. This drive follows the line proposed by Humphry Repton, although when it was laid out it continued past the House, turning north-west to exit the park through flint and stone gate piers topped with eagles. These stand beside a small, C18 timber-framed lodge cottage (listed grade II) c 350m north-west of the House. The western section of the drive no longer (2000) gives access to the House, the drive being blocked following the division of the site. At the northernmost point of the park, a further entrance is marked by wrought-iron gates hung on brick and flint piers topped by pineapple finials (listed grade II). The drive passes the early C19 flint and brick Porter's Lodge (listed grade II) and runs south through the park to join the western drive. This has also lost its link to the main House through division of the site. Two late C20 entrances have been created: one midway along Eagle Lane, the western boundary, to give access to the stud buildings situated in the north park, the other c 100m to the east of the House entrance on Station Road to give access to the stable block, now (2000) in separate ownership.


Dullingham House (listed grade II) is a small country house built of red brick, with patterned 'burnt' headers under a slate roof. The symmetrical three-storey building has the remains of two projecting cross wings to east and west which were substantially reduced in the 1950s to be replaced by flanking, shaped walls. The House was built for Sir Christopher Jeaffreson in the early years of the C18 (architect unknown), probably on the site of an earlier house. Plans for re-bricking the House, produced by Repton in 1802, were not carried out. The top storey was added to the House in c 1900 by Mary Robinson.

To the south-east of the House, to which it is linked by a high red-brick wall, is the early C18 stable block (listed grade II), built in red brick and slate at the same time as the House. The main entrance originally faced west towards the House, the archway topped with a domed arched bell cote. Single-storey ranges to the north have late C20 extensions, added when the block was converted to private dwellings and sold. The entrance to the complex is from the east along the drive (late C20) built to accompany the development.


The south front of the House looks over a sloping lawn running down to Station Road, which is hidden by a low hedge. The lawn is flanked by ornamental woodland blocks through which runs a small stream, taken under the lawn by brick-built culverts. The woodland block to the west extends behind the cottages along the Station Road boundary. This scheme is much as Humphry Repton proposed in his Red Book of 1802, and it necessitated the removal of some village cottages, the raising of the level of the new lawn, and the adding of a low hedge with the intention of hiding the traffic on the public road. Repton proposed the use of the culvert to take the water away from the front of the House, believing that the space was too small to allow the creation of a lake of suitable size and that without it, the best could be made of the south view.

The main gardens at Dullingham House lie to the north and north-east of the House and are composed of three walled enclosures: the flower garden on the north front, the walled kitchen garden immediately to its east, and an enclosed area known as the arboretum to the east of the kitchen garden.

The main area of flower garden faces the north front and is enclosed by high red-brick walls, that to the east being the wall of the kitchen garden. A terrace along the House, terminated at its eastern end by a timber garden pavilion by George Carter, is divided by a set of steps which lead up to a central flagstone path running to an ornamental wrought-iron gateway in the north boundary wall. The path is flanked by lawns, edged with deep herbaceous borders below the garden walls, the longest of which runs east through a gap at the end of the kitchen garden wall to create a long narrow walk with a late C20 urn and second timber pavilion by Carter. Gateways through the wall into the walled kitchen garden and into the arboretum along this walk are now (2000) blocked. The arboretum is enclosed by walls and fences and is currently derelict with a few C20 trees and the remains of a fruithouse.

The gateway in the north boundary wall of the flower garden leads to a circular, banked, yew-enclosed bowling green (shown on the early OS maps to have formerly been octagonal). Beyond this a long yew-lined walk, aligned on the garden path and gateway and flanked by pleasure-ground planting, runs up to a clairvoie with simple iron park fencing, from which the north park can be viewed. The woods are cut through with paths and contain a high proportion of yew and holm oak as well as the remains of an icehouse.

Small enclosures lie immediately to the east and west of the House, on the site of demolished wings, that to the east laid out as a courtyard garden, that to the west as a box knot. Both are late C20 additions.


The park to the north, east and west of the House is retained under grass but was developed between 1987 and 1989 as a race-horse stud, being fenced to create paddocks, with a late C20 stable block built in the centre, located c 350m north-east of Dullingham House. Some trees of mixed ages and species survive, as do the perimeter plantations, put in place when the park was extended north after 1810. The perimeter belts have been thickened by further planting in the late C20.

The park to the south is separated from the House by Station Road and survives much as Repton designed it. The gently rising ground is retained under pasture across which are scattered mature oaks. This area is also partly fenced into horse paddocks (2000).


The walled kitchen garden occupies the central section of the three walled compartments to the north-east of the House. It has been developed in the late C20 as an ornamental garden for the residents of the stable-block complex. No glass survives within its boundaries. The surrounding walls have been altered in places and gateways to other parts of the garden have been bricked up.


D Stroud, Humphry Repton (1962)

N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire (1970), p 333

Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire VI, (1978), pp 157-166

J Kenworthy-Browne et al, Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses III, (1981), pp 13-15

G Carter et al, Humphry Repton (1982) p 149 Cambridgeshire

Parklands, (Cambridgeshire Record Office 1990), p 44

T Way, Cambridgeshire parklands survey, (Internal survey for Cambridgeshire County Council 1998)


Enclosure map of Dullingham, 1810 (Q/RDc 14), (Cambridgeshire Record Office)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886

2nd edition published 1903

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886

Archival items

Humphry Repton, Red Book for Dullingham House, 1802 (private collection)

Two 19th century watercolours (artist unknown), (private collection)

Description written: May 2000

Amended: December 2000

Edited: January 2001

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


About 4 kilometres south of Newmarket


Dullingham House was built in 1749 for Christopher Jeaffresson.

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):


The present Dullingham House was constructed in the early years of the 18th century by Christopher Jeaffreson, whose family had owned the manor and Dullingham estates since 1656 when John Jeaffreson, a pioneer settler on St Kitts, purchased it from the infant Sir Richard Wingfield. Surviving evidence inside the building suggests that the new house replaced an earlier one on the same site. When Sir Christopher died in 1749, the estate, its new house and small pleasure ground passed to his son, also Christopher, who remained at Dullingham until his death in 1788. His only son, Colonel Christopher Jeaffreson inherited. By about 1800 the grounds surrounding the House still only extended to about 12 hectares, but in 1799 Jeaffreson had called in Humphry Repton (1752-1818) to give advice on the alteration of the grounds and in 1802 a Red Book was produced. This dealt solely with the land to the south of the House. Following enclosure in about 1810, the park was extended to bring in the land to the north of the House, at which time it reached its full size of about 32 hectares.

Christopher Jeaffreson died in 1824 and the estate passed to his daughter Harriet, who married William Pigot in 1827. Their son, Christopher William Pigot, born in 1836, took the name of Robinson in 1857 under an inheritance from his maternal grandmother. In 1870 he married Mary Marianne Dunn-Garnder. Mary Robinson lived at Dullingham until she died, aged ninety-one, in 1939. The estate then descended to her half-brother's daughter Miriam Leader, who sold it in 1947 to F B Taylor. His son, P B Taylor, divided up the property, the House, gardens and park being purchased by Angela Tomkins who, together with her father, developed the park as a race-horse stud. In 1994 the House and its immediate grounds were purchased by Sir Martin and Lady Nourse and the stable courtyard developed for private housing. The site remains (2000) in divided private ownership.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens

  • Reference: GD1609
  • Grade: II


  • Herbaceous Border
  • Bowling Green
  • House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Plantation
  • Description: The site is almost entirely enclosed by perimeter plantations.
  • Boundary Wall
  • Description: An early 19th century flint and brick wall.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Key Information


Landscape Park



Principal Building



Part: ground/below ground level remains



Civil Parish




  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust {The Gardens of Cambridgeshire}
  • Carter, G et al {Humphry Repton landscape gardener} (1982) p 159
  • {English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest} (Swindon: English Heritage 2008) [on CD-Rom]
  • Pevsner, N {The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire} (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970) p333


  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust