Hamerton 1597

Peterborough, England, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire

Brief Description

Hamerton has the earthwork remains of gardens, extending to about 200 metres x 250 metres (about 5 hectares). They were laid out behind the site of a former manor house, now occupied by the Rectory, probably in the late-16th or early-17th century.

History

It is likely that a series of elaborate gardens was created by the Bedell family around the manorial complex from 1565. Sale particulars of 1669 describe ponds, a great garden, lesser gardens and orchards. The garden had become a field by 1838.

Terrain

Flat, with a slight fall to the south and east.

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):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

The earthwork remains of a late 16th or early 17th century garden laid out behind a former manor house.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

The site here registered is located in the south-east corner of the Cambridgeshire village of Hamerton which itself lies c 7km north-west of Huntingdon, to the west of the A1. The village is set in an open agricultural landscape typical of this part of the county, characterised by generally flat land occupied by large fields with few hedgerows and occasional blocks of woodland. The site is bounded to the north by the Rectory garden, to the west by village gardens and trees, and to the east by open farmland. To the south the boundary is formed by a long canal and raised bank, beyond which the land rises gently. The ground has a slight fall to the south and east, affording good views over the surrounding countryside to the south.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

The site is entered through a field gate in the north-west corner and there is a stile in the south-west corner.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

The gardens, now earthwork remains, were associated with the manorial complex that stood on the land now occupied by the Rectory.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The garden earthworks occupy an area c 200m by 400m and comprise an open field laid to pasture with a few trees. The earthworks fall into three areas. The first area, c 200m by 100m lies in the north-west corner. It is dominated by a central rectangular mound composed of C17 brick rubble, which is surrounded by shallow raised earthworks associated with the edges of paths or borders. The area to the south of this is bordered to the south and east by a water-filled canal, with a wide raised terrace bank beyond the south arm. This is currently (1999) covered in tree and scrub growth. Path and border edges are also evident in this area. The third area covers the eastern half of the site: to the north is a complex series of irregular earthworks whilst to the south is a dry moat with central rectangular island bordered to the east by several rectangular marshy depressions, which may be the remains of an elaborate water garden (Proc Cambridge Antiq Soc 1978) or possibly served as fishponds. The sale particulars of 1669 describe 'one large mansion house ... one court before it, and several yardes behind it, and ponds of water, with a great garden and other lesser gardens and faire orchards well planted with good fruit, consisting of about ten acres'.

REFERENCES

Victoria History of the County of Huntingdonshire III, (1936), pp 66-68

Proc Cambridge Antiq Soc 68, (1978), pp 65-67

Maps

Map, 1838, probably based on the Enclosure Award (PM2/17), (Huntingdon Record Office)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1887

2nd edition published 1902

3rd edition published 1924

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1887

3rd edition published 1924

Features
Earthwork
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Hamerton
History

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):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

The manor of Hamerton was conveyed by Sir Thomas Knyvet to Silvester Bedell in 1565. He was succeeded by his son Sir John, from whom it passed in 1613 to Capell Bedell. It is likely that a series of elaborate gardens was created by these generations of Bedells around the manorial complex they inhabited, because when Capell died in 1643 he divided the manor between his two daughters: Elizabeth, who married Sir Francis Compton, and Mary, who married Sir Thomas Leventhorpe. Elizabeth acquired her sister's portion but in 1669 the manor and its gardens were sold. The sale particulars of this date (Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 1978) describe ponds, a great garden, lesser gardens and orchards. The manorial complex was later occupied by the Rectory and was sold into the Smith family. Edward Smith Stanley, commonly called Lord Stanley, became owner in 1771. By 1838, when the site had descended to the hands of John Smith Barry, a map of the area shows the garden area had become simply a field (Huntingdon Record Office). The Smith Barrys continued to own the site throughout the 19th and into the 20th century. The Rectory field was sold into divided ownership in 1997, part being retained by the Rectory and part sold to a separate owner. It remains (1999) in divided private ownership.

Period

  • 16th Century
Contact
References

References