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Hatley Park


Originally a medieval deer park, Hatley Park had many phases of development in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Although the largest programme of development took place in the 19th century when the whole area was transformed into a landscaped park, the associated house was constructed in the 17th century. The park occupies about 130 hectares.


Generally flat

The formal gardens are located to the south of the house which leads to a Chestnut avenue. There is a ha-ha with balustrades and circular pool which is flanked by yew hedging and two large topiary yews. To the east of the house is a formal rose garden surrounded by box hedging. To the west is an extensive lake, which contains two islands. To the front of the house are clipped box hedges and a tree lined approach. A path near the rose garden leads to the village church on the edge of the park. Along the northern boundary is a recent ha-ha. There is a large walled garden in the park to the west of the house.

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):

Remains of 17th and early 18th century formal gardens, remodelled in the mid 19th and again in the 20th century, set within a mainly mid-19th century park with early 18th century origins.



Hatley Park sits on the western edge of the Cambridgeshire village of Hatley St George which lies c 16km south-west of Cambridge. It covers c 130ha, of which c 9ha are gardens and pleasure grounds, and is located in a rural part of the county dominated by a flat agricultural landscape of large fields. The north and south boundaries are formed by the surrounding farmland, while most of the west boundary is defined by Bar Lane and the buildings of the Dower House which stand in the north-west corner of the park just beyond the boundary of the site here registered. To the east is the village, with Bank Lane forming the northern half of this boundary, and Buff Lane together with the Home Farm defining the southern half. The ground at Hatley is generally flat, with slight undulations. The house sits centrally on the site on slightly higher ground, the land falling away slightly to the north to a string of small lakes beside the village road which divides the north park from the south park.


From the village to the east a drive enters the park beside a mid to late C19 cottage-orné-style lodge (listed grade II) of white rendered plaster and timber-frame details under a thatched roof. The drive runs west, past a dense block of woodland which screens the village to the north, to arrive at the north front of the house and then continues north-west to exit the park at West Lodge. During the early to mid C19 the east drive continued north from the house to exit the park beside North Lodge, a red-brick, late C19, two-storey cottage lodge. The lodge survives but the north drive is now (2000) reduced to a farm track. In the later half of the C19 the west drive was created to run along an existing straight avenue which, until 1868 terminated just to the north of Park Farm (now know as the Dower House). When the drive was created, the avenue was extended out to the western boundary and the red-brick West Lodge was built (estate map, 1868).


Hatley Park (listed grade II*) is a large country house built of red brick with stone dressings under a hipped slate roof. It has a single east/west range with mid C18 extensions at each end. The entrance front to the north has seven central bays, the centre three slightly projecting to carry the pedimented doorway with Ionic portico. The seven-bay south front looks over the gardens to the park beyond. The house has a C17 core, built by Sir Robert Cotton (architect unknown) and was much altered during the early C18 by Margaret Cotton (Trefusis) and in the late C18 by Thomas Quintin who may have refaced the north front.

To the west of the house, at a distance of c 20m, stands the red-brick and tile stable block, ranged around a central courtyard. The west range has a timber clock turret with bell-shaped roof while flanking the entrance on the north side are cottages for domestic staff. Some early C18 brickwork survives but the stables were mainly rebuilt by John Carberry Evans in c 1879.


The gardens and pleasure grounds at Hatley lie on the south side of the house. Before the south front is a central lawn cut in a formal style on the axis of the house, with a circular fountain pool and perimeter paths flanked by mature clipped yews and enclosed to the south by a low balustrade, c 150m from the house terrace. The balustrade runs along the north side of twin canals set on an east/west axis, the central opening, ornamented with pedestals, focused on the south avenue in the park. To the east and west of the lawn are areas of pleasure-ground woodland, enclosing a rose garden, brick gazebo, late C20 swimming pool and vegetable garden. The woodland to the west encircles a small informal lake with two small islands and steps with ornamental columns at the east end. The lake was dug in the late C19. In 1707 this whole area is shown by a Kip engraving to be covered in formal gardens, including a long canal running south from the outbuildings to the west of the house, now (2000) marked by a plantation of silver birch. Although the formal courts on the north front were swept away during the course of the C18, the formal gardens remained to the south, with twin kitchen gardens being planted behind the yews flanking the south lawn. John Carberry Evans substantially remodelled the south gardens, removing the kitchen gardens to a new site and creating the lake, the pleasure grounds, and the balustrated long canals cut through with the view to the avenue which he planted in the south park.


Hatley Park surrounds the mansion house on all sides. The north park is divided into two by the village street which runs from north-west to south-east between North Lodge and the village. There are few perimeter plantations, the enclosure of the park being created by the use of large woodland blocks beyond the boundary of the park. The south park is laid to grass and scattered with trees of mixed ages and species. Small areas along the west and east boundaries are divided by post and rail fences into horse paddocks. The main feature of the south park is the south avenue which focuses the view from the gardens out over the park to the countryside beyond.

The north park reaches right up to the forecourt on the north front of the house. It retains its parkland character between the house and the road, beyond which part of the land is now (2000) under arable cultivation with no obvious surviving features of the earlier park. Flanking the road are two lakes, excavated by Carberry Evans at the end of the C19, while running west from these are two further, irregularly shaped water bodies of much earlier origin, possibly associated with the moats of an earlier manor house (An architectural account of Hatley Park). To the north-west, the avenue flanking the west drive connects the entrance front to the West Lodge, while to the north-east the C14/C15 parish church of St George (listed grade II*, outside the boundary here registered), linked to the gardens by a path, acts as an eyecatcher from the house.


Until the middle of the C19 the kitchen gardens were located within the gardens on the south front, in twin compartments defined by yews to the west and east of the central lawn. In the late C19 John Carberry Evans removed these and built a new kitchen garden just to the east of the southern end of his new south elm avenue. Although still shown in outline on the 1925 OS map, it had been abandoned by 1900 (present owners pers comm, 2000). Sometime between 1925 and 1950 a walled kitchen garden was built on the west side of Bar Lane, (outside the boundary of the site here registered). This contains a range of derelict glasshouses and is currently (2000) not cultivated.


L Knyff and J Kipp, Britannia Illustrata 1, (1714)

J Beeverell, Les delices de al Grand Bretagne et de L'Irlande (1727) Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire II, (1948), pp 104-109

Royal Commission on Historic Monuments of England Inventories: West Cambridgeshire (1968), pp 145-152

N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire (1970), p 405

J Kenworthy-Browne et al, Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses III, (1981), p 16

Cambridgeshire Parklands, (Cambridgeshire Record Office 1990), p 45

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

An architectural account of Hatley Park, Cambridgeshire (unattributed private report for estate)


Plan of the Hatley Park Estate, Cambridgeshire, 1869 (Sale Particulars), (Cambridgeshire Record Office)

Tithe map for Hatley parish, 1841 (Cambridgeshire Record Office)

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

2nd edition published 1901

3rd edition published 1925

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


J Kip, Engraving, 1707 (published in L Knyff and J Kip 1714)

Description written: June 2000

Amended: December 2000

Edited: January 2001

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Originally a medieval deer park, developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, but mainly in the mid-19th century, into a large landscaped park, in the centre of which stands a late-17th-century house.

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 parish of Hatley St George takes its name from the St George family, who held the main manor here from the 12th until the mid 17th century. During this period it is thought that a number of different sites for a manor house were used, until a new one was built by Sir Henry St George on the site immediately before the Civil War, close to, and partly incorporating, the site of the present house (An Architectural account of Hatley Park). In 1658 Richard St George sold the manor to Sir Thomas Cotton of Conington in Huntingdonshire. It remained in the Cotton family until the death of Sir Robert Cotton in 1717. Sir Robert extensively rebuilt the house after the Restoration and by 1707 had laid out a small park.

The house, its outbuildings, park and elaborate formal south gardens with canal are recorded on an engraving by Kip dated 1707. It then passed to his daughter Alice, wife of Samuel Trefusis. Their son Robert sold the estate in 1732 to Commissioner Thomas Pearse, whose own son sold to Thomas Quintin, a wealthy glass manufacturer, in 1785, at which time the house was again altered. The estate remained in the hands of the Quintin family (who assumed the name of St Quintin) until Thomas St Quintin sold to John Carberry Evans in 1868. Evans made further alterations to the house and substantial changes to the grounds, remodelling the formal gardens on the south front, extending the park, making new lakes, a new kitchen garden and creating new drives. On his death in 1893, the estate was sold to Ernest Hooley. In 1898 Hooley went bankrupt and the manor was purchased by Sir Charles Hamilton. He sold to Sir Arthur Black in 1920 who remained at Hatley until it came back onto the market in the 1930s at which time it was purchased by Herman Lebus. In 1946 Lebus sold, and it became the property of the Astor family. The site remains (2000) in single private ownership.


Victorian (1837-1901)

Features & Designations


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

  • Reference: GD1613
  • Grade: II




  • Ha-ha
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  • Hedge
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  • Lake
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  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house was built shortly before the Civil War and re-built after the Restoration (1660).
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  • Pool
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  • Ha-ha
  • Balustrade
  • Pool
  • Topiary
  • Rose Garden
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


Victorian (1837-1901)





Civil Parish





  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust