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Hatherop Castle


The park was established in the 16th or 17th century, being around 100 hectares at its most extensive. There is also a mid-19th-century formal garden beside the Castle.


The boundary to the north-west is defined by the right bank of the River Coln, which then turns south along the western edge of the ridge which runs north/south across the middle of the park. The Castle stands at the north end of this ridge.
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):

Sixteenth- or 17th-century park, with mid-19th-century formal garden beside Hatherop Castle.



Hatherop Castle stands at the north side of its park, c 300m west of the village of Hatherop, which is 4km north of Fairford and 13km north-east of Cirencester. The Castle is approached via a minor road from the east which connects the north to south-running Bibury to Fairford and Hatherop to Fairford roads. The c 100ha site is bounded mainly by high-quality coursed stone walls up to 1.5m high. The southern boundary wall of the park incorporates a date-stone of 1868. There are also occasional sections of wrought-iron railings. Minor roads run along the park's southern boundary and part of its northern boundary. The boundary to the north-west is defined by the right bank of the River Coln, which then turns south along the western edge of the ridge which runs north/south across the middle of the park. The Castle stands at the north end of this ridge. The park is bounded to the east by agricultural land.


The main approach to the Castle is from the north. Some 150m north of the Castle, a pair of c 2.5m high square ashlar piers with ball finials are set back from the road in a c 1.5m high ashlar wall, topped by a clipped box hedge. The piers support two wrought-iron gates (mid C19 piers, gates, and wall listed grade II). From the gateway a straight drive leads south, flanked by lawns, to the main door in the centre of the Castle's north facade, in front of which is a rectangular forecourt, enclosed to the north and east by a low ashlar wall and to the west by ornate wrought-iron railings. Various service drives lead east and west from the main drive.

Another entrance lies c 600m south of the Castle. Square ashlar piers, c 2.5m high, with ball finials, are set back from the road in a low stone wall and support late C20 plain wooden gates. From here a track leads north-east, past a single-storey, stone, slate-roofed lodge (c 1870, rebuilt 1886) to the east, following the ridge through Netherton Copse, to the Castle. Another lodge (c 1870) stands north-east of a crossroads in the park, 500m to the south-east of the Castle. The remains of an avenue (possibly C19) run north-west from the lodge, towards the Castle. A third lodge (built c 1870, rebuilt 1890) stands 650m south-east of the Castle on the southern boundary. A track leads north-east from it, into the park.


Hatherop Castle (listed grade II) was built in the C16 and C17 but was extensively restored and extended from 1850 to 1856 by Henry Clutton for Lord de Mauley. The Castle is of coursed and dressed stone or ashlar, with slate roofs and scattered ashlar stacks. The building is a complex rectangular block, mostly of three storeys or two plus attics, with a five-storey square tower to the south-west. The north front remains largely as it was in Kip's view of 1712 (Atkyns 1712), with six coped gables and a central, embattled entrance tower of three storeys. The south facade is of the mid C19 and has a three-gabled central block, with the larger, end gables of the east and west facades to each side. A large C19 archway at the east end of the Castle connects the main building to a three-storey square tower, from which there is direct access to the church of St Nicholas (also rebuilt by Clutton, 1854-5, listed grade II*).


The gardens extend around all but the east and north-east sides of the Castle, where the kitchen garden and church are located. North of the Castle, lawns of c 1ha flank the drive. There has been some late C20 tree-planting here but otherwise the lawns are mainly open. Mature specimen trees at their south end, adjacent to the Castle, include a ginkgo and a beech. East of the north-east corner of the lawns, c 150m north-east of the Castle, former stone stables and other outbuildings, now (2000) used as school buildings, stand north and south of a yard, to the east of a c 1.5m high coursed stone wall, with a gateway flanked by c 2.5m high square ashlar piers with ball finials. On the east side of the lawn a row of mature yew trees stands at the top of a grass bank, west of a gravel path which runs along the west wall of the kitchen garden.

At the west side of the Castle is the late C19 Italian Garden. This 50m long, rectangular terraced garden is separated from the forecourt north of the Castle by a row of ornate ashlar piers and wrought-iron railings on a low stone plinth (1850-6, listed grade II), built by Henry Clutton for William de Mauley. A large, arched, decorative stone gateway stands in the centre and the de Mauley monogram is included in its frieze. A small, single-storey ashlar orangery stands at the northern end of the railings (1885, listed grade II with the gateway). A straight gravel walk leads south-west from the orangery, above the level of the Italian Garden, along the west face of the Castle. The Italian Garden is enclosed to the north and south by stepped ashlar walls up to 1.5m high, with stone urns at each end and at the centre. Stone steps lead down from the middle of the gravel walk to the top grass terrace. A gravel path continues west, on the line of the top steps, to a second flight of stone steps, leading to the lower terrace. A gravel path also runs north/south, across the east side of the top terrace. On the lower terrace the line of the axial path continues west but the path widens into a diamond shape around a central, stone-edged square flower bed (formerly a fountain). Two stone-edged beds flank the path. Only slight earthworks in the grass remain to indicate the position of other, similar beds (removed late C20) which formed a C19 geometric parterre here. Cast-iron figures stand to each side of a short flight of stone steps at the west side of the lower terrace, leading down to a gravel walk which runs north/south, past the west end of the garden. A strip of lawn divides the path from a clipped box hedge to its west. A gap in the hedge, aligned with the east/west axial path through the Italian Garden, gives access to a c 1ha area of rough grass and mixed trees to the west (once an ornamental plantation, Sale catalogue, 1862). The walk once continued west to water gardens on the River Coln (known as 'the Trout Stream' in 1862) at the bottom of the valley (T Verdon pers comm, 2000). North of the Italian Garden is a small rectangular pool (1976).

The gravel path curves south-east from the Italian Garden to the lawns south of the Castle. A branch of the path goes north then runs east, along the south facade of the Castle. A thick yew hedge stands at the south-west corner of the Castle. To its west is a small C20 wildlife pond. At the south-west edge of the lawns south of the Castle, the ground falls away sharply to the south-west. Mature specimen trees, including a cedar and a holm oak, stand along the east edge of the lawn. The lawns are enclosed to the east by high wrought-iron railings, divided by ashlar piers with ball finials, which extend south from the south-east corner of the Castle for c 50m. An ornate stone gateway (c 3m high, with carved decorations including William de Mauley's monogram) and wrought-iron gate stand in a short section of ashlar wall at the north end of the railings. A yew hedge grows along the west side of the railings. A path runs along the east side of the railings, between them and the 3m high ashlar wall of the churchyard. At the south end of the enclosed section of path stands a pair of c 3m high square ashlar piers with ball and obelisk finials. South of this gateway, the path continues south then divides, one branch going east to a Victorian tennis court south of the churchyard and the other continuing south, through Netherton Copse, to a lodge on the southern boundary of the park. Nothing visible remains of the enclosed formal garden shown immediately south of the Castle on Kip's view of 1712 (Atkyns 1712) and it is possible that this garden was never built (T Verdon pers comm, 2000).


The park is divided into two parts by the ridge on which stands Netherton Copse. The area east of the ridge is approximately twice as large as that to the west. The park is used as permanent pasture and has thin belts of trees on its south boundary and along the public road which runs from north-west to south-east through the eastern half of the park. Clumps of trees are scattered throughout the park. An avenue from the east lodge to the Castle remains. There are views from the southern half of Netherton Copse, north-west across the park to the village of Coln St Aldwyn. The park was established in the C16 or C17 and was landscaped jointly with Williamstrip Park (to the north) in 1778 by Richard Woods (probably not Richard Woods of Essex), for John Webb.


The rectangular kitchen garden, c 1ha, lies c 50m north-east of the Castle. It is enclosed by a brick wall and divided by an internal wall into two compartments, the western compartment being approximately twice as large as the eastern. In the centre of the west wall a pair of wrought-iron gates with an overthrow is supported by two c 3.5m high square ashlar piers with decorative flat stone caps. To the north of the gates, the brick wall is c 1.5m high and to the south it is c 3m. The western part of the kitchen garden is used for growing vegetables, in large plots divided by grass paths. The eastern part is grassed and contains a late C20 tennis court. An orchard stands in the south-west corner of the kitchen garden. A small, solid wooden gate at the south end of the west wall also gives access to the kitchen garden. The kitchen garden is depicted in Kip's early C18 view (Atkyns 1712) and its basic shape appears to have changed little since then.


R Atkyns The Ancient and Present State of Glostershire (1712), plate facing p 464

D Verey, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire The Cotswolds (1970), p 272

Victoria History of the County of Gloucestershire VII, (1981), pp 89-93

N Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume One, 1500-1660 (1989), pp 104-5


OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1876-81, published 1886


Kip and Knyff, Hatherop the Seat of Sr John Webb Bart (in Atkyns 1712)

Archival items

Landscape gardening: agreement for scheme at Williamstrip and Hatherop, proposed by 'Mr Woods', 1778 (D540/E3), (Gloucestershire Record Office)

Sale particulars for Hatherop estate, 1862, 1867, around 1890 (D540/E39), (Gloucestershire Record Office)

Plans of the garden, 1873-9 (D540/P24), (Gloucestershire Record Office)

Plan of the Italian Garden, no date (?20th century) (D540/P26), (Gloucestershire Record Office)

Oblique aerial photographs, 1952 (NMR, Swindon)

Description written: March 2000

Amended: February 2001

Edited April 2003

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

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 manor of Hatherop belonged to Lacock Abbey (see separate description of this site in the Register) in Wiltshire until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when it was sold by the Crown to Sir William Sharington. It passed to the Earl of Pembroke before being bought by John Blomer (died 1558) in 1553 (Kingsley 1989). John's son, William Blomer (died 1613), may have built the Castle not long after he inherited. Hatherop remained in the Blomer family until 1686, when another William Blomer died and the property passed into the hands of the Webb family on the marriage of William's sister to Sir John Webb of Canford, Dorset. In 1778, the then owner, another John Webb, agreed with Samuel Blackwell of Williamstrip Park that both parks should be landscaped together by the professional designer Richard Woods (Agreement, Gloucestershire Record Office). At his death in 1797, Sir John Webb left Hatherop Castle to his granddaughter, Lady Barbara Ashley Cooper (died 1844), whose husband, William Ponsonby, became Lord de Mauley in 1838. In 1848 Hatherop was severely damaged by fire and was almost completely rebuilt by the architect Henry Clutton. On Lord de Mauley's death, in 1855, the Castle passed to his son Charles, who leased it to his younger brother Ashley George John Ponsonby, MP for Cirencester. The Castle passed into the hands of the Government who leased it in 1862 to the Maharajah Duleep Singh of Lahore.

In 1867 it was bought by Thomas Sebastian Bazley (died 1919), who inherited the baronetcy of Tolmers (Herts) in 1885. By 1900, Sir Thomas had conveyed the estate to his son Gardner Sebastian Bazley (died 1911). Gardner's trustees retained the Hatherop estate until the mid-1930s, when it passed to his son Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley. From 1946, Sir Thomas leased the Castle to Owlstone Croft School, a girls' public school later known as Hatherop Castle School. In 1972, the school purchased the Castle and about 15 acres (about 6 hectares). The Castle and park remain (2000) in private hands, with the park in divided ownership.


Tudor (1485-1603)

Associated People
Features & Designations


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

  • Reference: GD1760
  • Grade: II


  • Mansion (featured building)
  • Description: In 1848 Hatherop was severely damaged by fire and was almost completely rebuilt by the architect Henry Clutton.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • River
  • Description: The boundary to the north-west is defined by the right bank of the River Coln.
  • Boundary Wall
  • Description: The roughly 100 hectare site is bounded mainly by high-quality coursed stone walls up to 1.5 metres high.
Key Information





Principal Building



Tudor (1485-1603)





Open to the public


Civil Parish