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Ludstone Hall


Ludstone Hall has formal gardens of the late-19th century. There are also the remains of a medieval moat and fishpond which were converted to form part of the garden design.

Ludstone Hall is a splendid example of a Carolean mansion, built within an existing moat for the Whitmores around 1607. The house was well restored and its grounds improved by John Round Cartwright, who purchased it in 1870 and lived there until his death in 1910. South of the Hall he made the garden and the large lake. He moved the entrance drive from the east to the south, covering part of the moat, and built a new entrance lodge. On the east a rectangular area was enclosed by hedges and a low stone wall. Half of that area was given over to a knot garden of clipped box in playing card motifs with other beds enclosed by hedges. In all there are six beds in groups of four, each arranged around a central, spirally clipped box tree. Also to the east is a bronze statue of Mercury. On the north is a pergola.

A red brick summerhouse may have been added by Mr. and Mrs. Rollason, who owned the Hall from 1939-70.

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):



Ludstone Hall and its ancillary buildings dominate the small hamlet of Ludstone, which lies in a subsidiary north/south valley north of the Danford Brook. Ludstone is in the parish of Claverley, a substantial village c 2km to the south-west, with which it is linked by an unclassified road. Bridgnorth lies 9km to the west. The registered area (c 27ha) is partly bounded by local roads, the boundary otherwise following field edges.


Since the 1870s the main approach to the Hall has been a short, broad and straight gravel drive bordered with clipped yews on the south side, past a brick, Jacobean-style lodge (listed, as are gate piers, grade II) of the 1870s designed by Robert Griffiths, which leads to a gravel court across the south front of the Hall. Of the same date are the gates and flanking walls (also listed grade II). Until the 1870s the main approach was from the east, through the service area and stables court and across the moat via a stone bridge with low brick lodges with pyramidal roofs (one ?C17, the other C20) on the inner edge of the moat. That remains as a secondary approach.


Ludstone Hall (listed grade I) is a brick house with stone dressings built within an existing moat for Sir John Whitmore c 1607. It is an elaborate and tall H-plan building, the south, entrance front having curvilinear gables and a projecting semicircular bay in the middle of the recessed centre section. The Hall was extensively restored in the later C19 under the architect Robert Griffiths of Stafford.

East of the Hall, outside the moat, are various farm, stable and ancillary buildings including a squash court. Incorporating C18 and C19 fabric, most are of the 1870s.


The gardens lie both within and outside the square moat which surrounds the Hall. This itself, which has brick- and stone-lined sides, forms one of the main features of the garden, and is crossed by three bridges. To the south is that which supports the forecourt, to the east that carrying the drive through the stables court. The third bridge is in the centre of the west side. Of brick, that bridge was probably built in the 1870s.

To either side of the main approach drive are 1m high ashlar walls (garden walls listed grade II). Rising above these are tall and dense hedges, outgrown from rows of specimen evergreens, largely hollies. Behind the east hedge is the Knot Garden, comprising four groups of box-hedged parterres, each in turn quartered. The designs are various, and include playing card suits. East of the Knot Garden is an orchard. West of the main drive, and extending up the outside (west) of the west moat, is a lawn. A gate in the wall up its west side gives views across, and access to, the park. At the north end of the lawn is a small formal terrace, occupied in the late C19 by a conservatory (now gone). Another lawn, with a small summerhouse at its south-east corner, lies within the moat to the east of the Hall.

Behind, north of, the Hall, a small lawn with shrubs and specimen trees slopes gently down to a roughly square pool which forms a northward extension of the moat. Running around its west and north sides is a broad belt of shrubs and specimen trees. Within this, west of the pool and on a bank, is a line of sweet chestnuts. Most are late C19 or C20 but two, at the south end of the bank, are massive veterans, presumably of c 1700.


In the 1870s J R Cartwright created a small park around the Hall, removing the existing field boundaries (mostly medieval strip boundaries fossilised in the ?C17 at inclosure) and planting specimen trees. The park survives; the western part, overlooked from the gardens down the west side of the Hall, was in arable cultivation in 1998, the remainder was permanent pasture. The roughly rectangular fishpond opposite the main gates, said in many accounts to have been another creation of the late C19, was already present in 1840.


The kitchen garden, surrounded with walls and hedges and with box-edged paths, lies outside the east arm of the moat. A greenhouse, probably the vinery mentioned in the 1910 sale particulars, runs along most of the north wall. The garden is dominated by a pigeoncote with clock tower which rises above the south-east corner of the garden. At least in this form, the garden was made in the 1870s. It remains in production.


Country Life, 111 (11 January 1952), pp 92-5; (25 January 1952), pp 222-5

P A Stamper, Historic Parks and Gardens in Shropshire. A Compendium of Site Reports Compiled 1994-1997, (Shropshire County Council 1996)

P A Stamper, Historic Parks and Gardens of Shropshire (1996), pp 8, 85, 100-2


Tithe map for Claverley, 1840 (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1882, published 1886; 3rd edition published 1928

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1882, published 1883; 2nd edition surveyed 1901, published 1902


J H Smith, watercolour of Ludstone, early 19th century (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)

Archival items

Sale particulars, 1872, including contract etc (1496/341, 343, 359), (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)

Sale particulars, 1910 (1391/1), (Shropshire Records and Research Centre)

Description written: November 1998

Register Inspector: PAS

Edited: February 2000

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):


In the 17th century and later Ludstone was the seat of the Whitmores, and around 1607 the Hall was completely rebuilt for Sir John Whitmore (died 1649) within what is presumably a medieval moat. In 1867, after a long period when it was let to farmers, Ludstone was sold by the Whitmores. In 1872-3 it was purchased by Joseph Round Cartwright (died 1910), a recently widowed Sedgley firebrick manufacturer, under whom the house was restored, service ranges constructed, and new gardens and a small park laid out. The Hall remained in private hands in the late 1990s.

Features & Designations


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

  • Reference: GD2132
  • Grade: II


  • Moat
  • Description: The 1607 house was built within an existing moat.
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  • Drive
  • Description: The entrance drive to the house was moved from the east to the south, and was accompanied by a new entrance lodge.
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  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: A gate lodge was constructed by the new southern drive.
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  • Pergola
  • Description: To the north of the house there is a pergola.
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  • Summerhouse
  • Description: A red brick summerhouse was built in the mid-20th century.
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  • Country House (featured building)
  • Description: Ludstone Hall is a Jacobean house of around 1607, much restored in the late-19th century. It is of brick with stone dressings.
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  • Knot Garden
  • Description: A knot garden of clipped box in playing card motifs with other beds enclosed by hedges.
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  • Lake
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


Part: standing remains



Open to the public


Civil Parish