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Hardwick Hall, Shropshire


Hardwick Hall had extensive 18th-century gardens; status now uncertain.

Hardwick Hall is a large brick mansion, and faces south over undulating lawns. The Hall is surrounded by a park. It is a grand early Georgian house with Grade II* status, built on a fresh site in 1720 by John Kynaston, who moved there from Hordley Hall.

It was the birthplace of the Shropshire Highwayman, Wild Humphrey Kynaston, second son of Sir Roger Kynaston. Direct Kynaston family descendants still live at Hardwick Hall today.

The Hall has three storeys and a cellar, with villas flanking both the south and north sides. The whole faces south overlooking parkland while, to the north, there is a lake. (This is not the National Trust’s Hardwick Hall).

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Hardwick Hall was built around 1720, on a new site by John Kynaston (d. 1733), who bought the estate in 1693.

In the later 18th and 19th centuries, the main drive across the park led south from the Hall. However, Sir J.R. Kynaston (d. 1866), who succeeded to the estate in 1839, diverted the drive eastwards of the Hall to an entrance on the north side, and made flower gardens. He also built a terrace on the south side, along the entire frontage of the house. The terrace was ornamented with flowers and vases.

In 1851, pleasure grounds and shrubberies lay west of the Hall. The shrubberies incorporated rare shrubs, including an 'arra-caxia imbricata' over 16 feet high, and said to be one of the best specimens in the country. There was also a Cedar Deodora, and upwards of 30 pines. A Cedar of Lebanon with a 5m circumference stood in front of the Hall.

A new conservatory, used chiefly as an orangery, had just been built on the west side of the Hall at this date. The kitchen gardens, north-west of the Hall, covered an entire acre, and next to them was a vinery. The park was well timbered, and entered from the garden via magnificent early-18th-century iron gates (moved here in the mid-19th century).

In 1891 a Wellingtonia, a monkey tree, beeches, and Spanish chestnuts were present. By then there was also a tennis ground, and a 'rustic retreat of fern covered stone and woodwork, forming a grotto and summerhouse' west of the Hall. The large, circular basin of the fountain had been filled in as a rockery with stones and ferns, although another fountain was still working.

Key Information



Principal Building

Domestic / Residential



Civil Parish

Ellesmere Rural