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Lulworth Castle

Introduction

The site contains archaeological remains of extensive and complex 17th-century formal gardens of around 20 hectares. The gardens are set in an estate of around 280 hectares, which were landscaped in the later-18th century. The estate is now in divided use and ownership.

Terrain

The land rises slightly from east to west.
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 archaeological remains of extensive and complex 17th century formal gardens of about 20 hectares, in an estate which at its most extensive covered about 280 hectares, 'landscaped' in the later 18th century.

DESCRIPTION

The terrain surrounding Lulworth Castle rises slightly from east to west. There is extensive woodland to the north-west (Burngate Wood, Park Wood) and the north-east (Lodge Wood, Bowling Green Wood), with plantations or belts of trees along some boundaries.

REFERENCES

Smythson and the English Country House, 1983, 225-226, pl.141-142.

Harris J, The Artist and the Country House, 1979, 131, 327.

Newman J, Pevsner N, Dorset, 1972, 194-196.

Oswald A, Country Houses of Dorset, 1969, 127-130, pl. 141-142.

Registered: 1986

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The castle and grounds are open from Sunday to Friday throughout the year, with a break over Christmas and some weeks in January. Please see: http://www.lulworth.com/castle-park/opening-times.aspx

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

Lulworth Castle was built in about 1608 for Thomas Howard, 3rd Viscount Bindon. Work may have begun in the time of the 2nd Lord Howard, Henry, who inherited the estate in 1590. He received a licence to empark in 1601, and the deer park was created soon afterwards, enclosing 250 hectares.

Additions were made to the property from about 1700. The balustraded terrace to the east of the castle was built before 1721, extended to the north and south before 1765, and reconstructed in 1776. The stable block, 200m to south-east of the castle, is dated 1777. The walled kitchen garden, 300 metres to the south-west, is of 17th or early 18th century origin.

The estate has several entrances, some with adjacent lodges which are now in various use and ownership: (1)50 metres south of walled garden, a mid 19th century lodge with late 18th century entrance piers beside; (2) White Gate Lodge, about 1 kilometre to the south-east, with late 18th century gate piers flanked by battlemented walls; (3) the east entrance, with gate piers dated 1798 and wrought-iron gates, lies 400 metres to the east-south-east of the Castle; (4) Wareham Gate Lodge, 17th century in origin, was re-erected in 1808 on its present site to the north-east of the Castle. It was previously sited about 80 metres to the east of Lulworth Castle as part of the formal garden scheme; (5) North Lodges, dated 1785, lie 1200 metres to the north-north-west of the castle and were built partly as an eye-catcher; (6) Clare Towers, of late 18th century date, was once an entrance gateway, with twin circular towers and a linking archway, 1300 metres to the north-west of the Castle.

St Andrew's Church, 200 metres to the south, forms a visual part of the 17th century garden scheme. The chapel of St Mary, built 1786-1787 for Thomas Weld, likewise forms a visual part of the later landscaping.

An elaborate garden layout was established in the mid 17th century, and is shown in an engraving of 1721 (Harris p.131). It comprised forms of parterre to the east, north and west, divided by axial paths and avenues, and with rectangular plantations further west. While all the smaller details of the layout have gone, the walled garden and the areas of woodland westwards remain, and the division of the woodland by geometrical paths is still apparent from aerial photographs.

South of the Castle, a smaller formal layout shown in the 1721 engraving remained, much modified in the 19th century, until about 1960. A bowling green was established in the early to mid 17th century about 700 metres to the north-east of theCastle, but now survives only as open ground within Bowling Green Wood.

The park has an ice-house, built in the early 1770s to a design by Richard Woods, 400 metres to the north-west of the Castle.

In the 1790s the village of East Lulworth was moved from about 100 metres south of St Andrew's Church and the stable block to the present site about one kilometre east of the Castle.

19th century 'landscaping' included the creation in about 1850 of the Lake, 1 kilometre to the north-east, with the Fort, a folly, on the north-west shore. Open parkland, with scattered mature trees, now (1986) extends eastwards from the Castle for about 1 kilometre. Much of the estate has now been returned to agriculture or other uses.

Lulworth Castle was gutted by fire in 1929, and now (1986) is in the guardianship of English Heritage. The estate is now in divided use and ownership.

Associated People
Features & Designations

Designations

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

  • Reference: GD1711
  • Grade: II

Features

  • Castle (featured building)
  • Description: Lulworth Castle was built in about 1608 for Thomas Howard, 3rd Viscount Bindon.
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  • Terrace
  • Description: Balustraded terrace to the east of the castle was built before 1721, extended to the north and south before 1765, and reconstructed in 1776.
  • Latest Date:
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: The walled kitchen garden is of 17th or early 18th century origin.
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  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: A mid-19th century lodge with late-18th century entrance piers beside.
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  • Gate Piers
  • Description: Gate piers next to the mid-19th century lodge.
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  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: White Gate Lodge, with late-18th century gate piers flanked by battlemented walls
  • Wall
  • Description: Battlemented walls.
  • Gate Piers
  • Description: Gate piers dated 1798 and wrought-iron gates at the east entrance.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate
  • Description: Wrought-iron gates at the east entrance.
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: Wareham Gate Lodge, 17th century in origin, was re-erected in 1808 on its present site to the north-east of the Castle.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: North Lodges, dated 1785, lie 1200 metres to the north-north-west of the castle and were built partly as an eye-catcher.
  • Earliest Date:
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  • Tower
  • Description: Clare Towers, of late 18th century date, was once an entrance gateway, with twin circular towers and a linking archway.
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  • Chapel
  • Description: The chapel of St Mary, built 1786-1787 for Thomas Weld forms a visual part of the later landscaping.
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  • Bowling Green
  • Description: A bowling green was established in the early to mid 17th century about 700 metres to the north-east of theCastle, but now survives only as open ground within Bowling Green Wood.
  • Earliest Date:
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  • Icehouse
  • Description: There is an ice-house, built in the early 1770s to a design by Richard Woods, 400 metres to the north-west of the Castle.
  • Earliest Date:
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  • Stable Block
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  • Lake
  • Folly
  • Description: The Fort, a folly, on the north-west shore of the lake.
Key Information

Type

Country Estate

Purpose

Ornamental

Survival

Reconstructed

Hectares

300

Open to the public

Yes

Civil Parish

East Lulworth

References

References

Related Documents
  • CLS 1/249/2

    Lulworth Park - A Survey of the Landscape Part 1: General Introduction and History - Hard copy

    deBois Landscape Survey Group - 1986

  • CLS 1/249/7

    Lulworth Park - Some Proposals for Planting (Draft) - Hard copy

    JL Phibbs - 1986

  • CLS 1/249/6

    Lulworth Park - A Survey of the Landscape Part 3: Maps, Plans and Illustrations - Hard copy

    Debois Landscape Survey Group - 1986

  • CLS 1/249/5

    Lulworth Park - A Survey of the Landscape Part 2 Vol. 3 - Other Studies (Appendices G - M) - Hard copy

    Debois Landscape Survey Group - 1986

  • CLS 1/249/3

    Lulworth Park - A Survey of the Landscape Part 2 Vol. 1: Field Surveys (Appendices A, B, and C) - Hard copy

    deBois Landscape Survey Group - 1986

  • CLS 1/249/4

    Lulworth Park - A Survey of the Landscape Part 2 Vol. 2 - Documentary Surveys (Appendices D, E and F) - Hard copy

    deBois Landscape Survey Group - 1986

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