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Lypiatt Park


Lypiatt Park is a medieval park of around 100 hectares, enclosing 17th-century formal gardens. The gardens were developed in the late-19th century, extending to around three hectares. Features include a 14th-century chapel, granary and dovecote, as well as several small pools, originally fishponds.

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):

Gardens developed in the early C19 to complement the rebuilding of Lypiatt House as a baronial fortress, and a landscape park incorporating a wooded vale, both within a framework already established by the early C18.



Lypiatt Park stands within its park on one of the highest points of the Cotswolds c 1km north-east of Stroud. The house stands on, and looks across, the west side of Stancombe Vale, at the head of the Toadsmoor Valley. Some 400m to the south-west, also on the west side of the valley, is Nether Lypiatt (qv). To the north-west the park is bounded, in part, by the unclassified Stroud to Bisley road, and in part to the south-west by the continuation of Forty Acre Lane to Ferris Court and Park Farm. Otherwise the park boundary follows field and wood boundaries. The area of the registered park covers approximately 100 ha.


The main approach is from the west, from an entrance on the Stroud to Bisley road marked by a crenellated, three-storey, tower house-like lodge (listed Grade II) of c 1820 by Wyatville. From here a drive, lined with trees planted in the late C20, runs on a straight line across the level parkland to the main forecourt on the north side of the house. An approach from the north, along the west side of the Pinetum, remained in use as a track in 1999. Elaborate C19 gate piers stand on the Stroud to Bisley road, and again, there was a new planting of trees along its length in the late C20, replacing a lost avenue of horse chestnuts. In the C19 this drive continued around the edge of the park, eastward of the C19 gate piers, along the edge of the Rookery (from where there is a fine view back down the Vale to the house) and through The Warren wood to emerge at Stancombe.

Until c1820 the main road from Stroud to Bisley followed the line of the horse chestnut drive, passing the west side of the house before continuing south-west across the present park to Round Elm.


The main house (listed at Grade I) is an L-plan building of ashlar limestone with a stone slate roof. The main, two-storey, east/west hall range is mostly of the C16, with a west tower and crenellated parapet added by WyatviIIe as part of this works of 1809-15. The south-east range, in a baronial style, is also by WyatviIIe, with an extension of 1877 by T H Wyatt.

The house is linked to the chapel to its north by a short range (the Cloister) by WyatviIIe. The chapel (listed at Grade II*), a simple stone structure comprising nave and chancel, is of the late C14 with early- to mid-C16 alterations.

South-west of the house, running south-west to north-east, is a stables and coach-house range (listed at Grade II). Of stone, the range was designed by WyatviIIe with additions by Wyatt, and is of irregular plan incorporating projecting towers, narrow circular turrets, crenellations, and gothic door and window openings. All this was intended to perpetuate the medieval baronial theme, and to provide a picturesque backdrop to the gardens south of the house. North of the stables and west of the chapel is a C13 stone granary and a probably medieval, circular stone dovecote (both listed at Grade I).


The main feature defining the garden is WyatviIIe's terrace waIl (listed at Grade II; in the C20 sometimes known as 'the old fort waIl'), which retains the lawn to the north of the house, and then runs past and close to the east side of the house before continuing on a roughly south-west-ward line for c 200m (although an 80m section south of the south-east wing of the house was lost in a landslide in 1952). The wall, constructed of coursed stone, incorporates deliberately ruined bastions and turrets, some battered and with string courses, and zig-zag sections. The whole is intended to give the impression from the grounds and park that the house is the central element of a much larger medieval fortress. The terrace waIl represents a remodelling and perpetuation of the walled terrace walk shown by Kip (Atkyns 1712). At that date there was access from this to a bowling green on a lower terrace beneath the house. In the C19 and C20 the lower terrace was still there, although the landslip in 1952 considerably altered the hillside beneath the terrace.

Behind (east of) the terrace wall, north and south of the house, are gardens, mainly lawns with trees and shrubs. North of the house, beyond the unenclosed forecourt, is an extensive area of lawns, open, with well-spaced specimen trees, mostly of the later C20. From this lawn there are extensive views east, over the terrace waIl across Stancombe Vale and to Bisley with its church spire beyond. South of the house there is a 110m long, 10m wide, grass walk (reportedly shown as the Monks' Walk on a 1610 sketch, CL 1900) along the rear of the terrace wall, again with views across Stancombe Vale, albeit somewhat obscured (late C20) by specimen trees and shrubs growing up from the steeply sloping ground beneath. Along the back of the grass walk is an ancient clipped yew hedge, c 3m high.

This hedge forms the principal south-east boundary of the gardens south of the house. Against the house is open lawn with some specimen trees, including, close to the house, a cedar of Lebanon, probably planted in the late C18. South-west of the open lawn are further lawns and plantings of shrubs and specimen trees in an area occupied until the mid C20 by grass tennis courts and market gardens. These are enclosed by yew hedges and, to the south-west, by a stone wall, a framework which perpetuates that visible on Kip's view of c 1712 (Atkyns 1712). The stone wall is pierced by a gateway with iron gates of 1901. This gateway is approached from the north-east by a terraced walk across the lawn, parallel with the Monks' Walk, again probably part of the gardens depicted by Kip. The line of the terraced walk is continued south-west across the park by a footpath, apparently on the line of a tree-lined walk or avenue shown by Kip. A C20 orangery on the north-west side of these compartments contrived from a tennis pavilion incorporates probably Roman stone columns along its front.

North-west of the house and north lawn is the Grove, an area of specimen trees. North of the house, along the west side of the Vale, is the 300m long Pinetum, the planting of which began in 1863 and resumed in the later C20. A terrace walk extends through this from the end of the main garden terrace wall.


The house stands fairly centrally within a park which divides into two parts. West of the house, either side of the drive, the park is level farm and woodland. Along the Stroud to Bisley road the park is bounded by a stone wall within which, north-east and south-west of the lodge, there is a shelter belt. North of the drive is an extensive late C20 plantation of mixed broad-leaved trees. South of the drive is farmland which is almost wholly devoid of parkland trees; mounds near the drive resembling large round barrows are the heaped debris of Second World War installations in the park.

The eastern part of the park encompasses the upper reaches of Stancombe Vale, the views across and up which explain the house's setting and were later exploited by the drive to Stancombe. The Sheep Paddocks, the bottom of the Vale east and south-east of the house, is permanent pasture with some mature trees and large numbers of parkland trees planted in the later C20. Some of the grassland, alongside the Vale-bottom stream, was once managed as meadow ground. The Vale bottom of the lkm long north-easternmost section of the park, is in separate ownership from the rest of the park in the mid- and late C20, is scrubbier, with large amounts of mature hawthorn. The Vale sides are partly wooded, some at least, such as Boys' Wood and Helen's Wood to its south, dating from the late 1860s (the latter outside the registered area).

Some 300m north-east of the house, in the notch of a small subsidiary valley, is a small group of fish-ponds, one of which has been landscaped as the Lily Pond. To their north, beneath The Rookery, is a stone ram house, probably C19, while to their west, on the edge of the Pinetum, is a banded-brick pump house of the 1860s. In Kip's time the Sheep Paddocks beneath the house was a deer park. The creation of the larger landscape park, including the land east of the house, presumably took place about the time the road was moved away from the house, c 1820. There was much planting fifty years later, but in the early C20 at least the western section of the park was farmed and whatever ornamental character it had was largely lost. Since 1957 there has been a policy to restore and replant the park.


The stone-walled kitchen garden probably of early-C19 date is situated to the south-west of the stables. One lean-to glasshouse is of the late C19 or early C20; the remainder dating from the later C20, including planting and sheds.

Selected Sources

Books and journals

The Victoria History of the County of Gloucestershire: Volume XI, (1976), 112-113

Atkyn, R, The Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire, (1712), plate facing p 700

Brooks, A, Verey, D, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire I: The Cotswolds, (1999), 91, 110, 466-7

Kingsley, N, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, (1992), 176-8

Kingsley, N, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire, Volume I: 1500-1660, (1989), 128

'Garden Life' in Gardens of Sir John Dorington, (17 April 1909), 47-49

'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 8, (1 December 1900), 688-694


Lypiatt Sculpture Park, accessed from


Documents held at Gloucestershire Archives:

P320/VE 1/10 Plan of Tithings of Upper Lypiatt 1820

D745/E1 Sale particulars Lypiatt Park 1800

D745/P1 Plan of Lypiatt Park Estate & tracing of Lypiatt Park c. 1800

D745/Z3 Photographs of Lypiatt house and ground (taken for sale particulars) c1920

D1388/SL/3/10, 21,65, 67 Lypiatt Estate plans 1819, 1820, 1825, 1839

RX46.4GS Sale particulars with plan and two illustrations 1846

D2299/1543 Sales particulars Lypiatt Park 1918

D2299/1673 Lypiatt Park history of house and gardens 1915-16 correspondence about lease

D2299/6797 Sales particulars, plan photos 1937-9

D2593/2/855 Alterations 1876, drainage 1931 and photographs of landslip 1945-6

D8183/1 Sale particulars for Lypiatt Park Estate 1919 with covering letter full of detail about property.

D4586/20 Lypiatt House and estate sales 1822,1919, 1921 and 1952 incl photographs of 1919-52 and plans,

Title: OS 6" to 1 mile Source Date: Surveyed 1882, published 1887 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

Reasons for Designation

Lypiatt Park is included on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: it is a particularly interesting and representative example of an early-C19 park and garden that survives well, set within the framework of an earlier landscape design established by the early C18 of which elements survive;

* Documentation: its creation and historic development are particularly well documented;

* Group value: it forms a particularly strong and important group with Lypiatt House (listed at Grade I), as rebuilt in the baronial style in the early C19 to designs by Sir Jeffery Wyatville.

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 site is that of the manor of Over Lypiatt, where there was a manor house by 1324. It was then owned by the Maunsells, one of the last of that family probably being responsible for erecting the chapel there. In 1395 the manor passed in satisfaction of a debt to Richard Whittington, Lord Mayor of London. Robert Wye, who had the estate c 1505-44, may have rebuilt the house, which was captured and burnt by Royalist troops in 1645. The shell was repaired, and by the time the complex was depicted by Kip (Atkyns 1712) formal terraced gardens had been laid out. In 1800 Lypiatt Park was sold to Paul Wathen, who was later knighted and in 1812 assumed the name of Baghott. Between 1809 and 1815 he had the house rebuilt in the baronial style by Sir Jeffery WyattviIle (1766-1840). Baghott's business practices, however, were dubious, and in 1819, two years before the first of his three bankruptcies, he had to put the estate up for sale. By 1824 it had been acquired by William Lewis, a Brimscombe clothier, who in 1842 sold Lypiatt Park with 150ha to Samuel Baker, the father of the African explorer of the same name. The architect Samuel Daukes made some alterations to the house soon after Baker purchased it. Baker sold the property in 1847 to John Edward Dorrington (d1874), whose son of the same name, (cr bt 1886, d 1911) employed Thomas Henry Wyatt to remodel the house. The Dorrington heir was killed in the First World War, and the estate was put up for sale in 1919.

In 1958 the house and grounds were purchased by the well-known sculptor Lynn Chadwick (see obituary in the Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2003), who used parts of the park to display his sculpture and purchased further land for this purpose. The Vale bottom of the 1km long north-easternmost section of the park remained in separate ownership from the rest of the park in the mid- and late C20.

Associated People
Features & Designations


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

  • Reference: GD1764
  • Grade: II*


  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Lypiatt Park dates from the late-14th century. It was altered in the 16th century, and altered and enlarged 1809 by Sir Jeffry Wyatville. Further additions were made in 1876 by R H Wyatt.
  • Chapel
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Building
  • Description: Granary.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Stable Block
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Tree Belt
  • Description: There is woodland or belts of trees on most boundaries.
  • Avenue
  • Description: A slightly curving avenue.
  • Pool
  • Description: There are several small pools, originally fishponds.
  • Dovecote
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Hedge
  • Description: Background hedges of clipped yew.
  • Tree Feature
  • Description: The pinetum is 300m north of the house.
  • Terrace
  • Description: The Great Terrace, which has paths along the top and at a middle level.
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential





Open to the public


Civil Parish