Morville Hall 5978

Morville, Shropshire, England

Brief Description

Morville Hall is an Elizabethan house which was remodelled in the 18th century, and has grounds dating from that period. It featured veteran trees, avenues, water features, and an obelisk.

History

Morville Hall and grounds were designed in the mid-18th century by Arthur Weaver, M.P. for Bridgnorth. By the 19th century, some features described in the 18th century were no longer present. Some remodeling of the gardens has been done in the 20th century, and the property has been in the hands of the National Trust since 1965.

Visitor Facilities

Admission by guided tour. By written appointment only with the tenants, Dr & Mrs C. Douglas. 01746 780838 Email: morvillehall@nationaltrust.org.uk More information

Detailed Description

Morville Hall, a 16th-century building, was imposingly remodelled by William Baker in the mid 18th century. Baker's employment began following the election of his client Arthur Weaver as M.P. for Bridgnorth in 1747. As well as rebuilding the house, Weaver also made improvements to its grounds. He was possibly acting as his own landscape designer, and attempted to model the gardens on the height of current fashion. They are described in a letter of July 1760 from Thomas Percy to William Shenstone. Implicitly comparing the work at Morville Hall to his own Naturalistic landscape gardens at The Leasowes, Halesowen (designed by Shenstone), Percy somewhat sarcastically commented on Weaver's efforts:

'Last year died a Mr Weaver who had a Seat near Bridgenorth and who was possessed by the very demon of Caprice: He came into possession of an Old Mansion that commanded a fine view down a most pleasing Vale, he contrived to intercept it by two straight rows of Elms that ran in an oblique direction across it, and which led the Eye to a pyramidal Obelisk composed of one single board set up endways and painted by the Joiner of the Village: this obelisk however was soon removed by the first puff of wind. In view of one of his windows grew a noble large, Spreading Ash, which tho' the spontaneous gift of Nature, was really a fine object: and by its stately figure and chearful Verdure afforded a most pleasing relief to the Eye; you will stare when I tell you that Mr W had this Tree painted white, leaves and all: it is true the leaves soon fell off, and the tree died, but the Skeleton still remains, as a monument of its owner's Wisdom and Ingenuity.'

The elm avenues mentioned by Percy are not visible on detailed 19th-century and later maps, so were obviously short-lived. The gardens around the house include several historic features. The lawn south-west of the house is enclosed by two rows of tall yews. Beyond is a rose garden, and further beyond still a formal canal. At the side of the Hall is a small formal sunken garden and a lily pool, both laid out in the earlier 20th century.

Features

Style

  • English Landscape Garden
  • Country House (featured building)
  • Description: Morville Hall is an Elziabethan house heavily converted and remodeled in the mid-18th century by William Baker. It is of gray stone, with two projecting wings towards the east. The wings are each fronted by two giant pilasters and two Tuscan columns. In the angles of the wings there are narrow staircases which survive from the 16th century, as does the plaster ceiling in the kitchen. Lower service ranges of four bays, featuring cupolas, are connected to the house by curved walls.
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  • Avenue
  • Description: There was an avenue of two rows of elms running across the park.
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  • Obelisk
  • Description: There was a pyramidal obelisk at the end of the avenue. Percy's letter implies that it was wooden and ephemeral.
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  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: There was a large Spreading Ash in view of the house. Percy's letter states that Weaver had it all painted white, resulting in the death of the tree.
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  • Rose Garden
  • Description: A rose garden lies south-west of the house.
  • Canal
  • Description: A small formal canal lies beyond the rose garden.
  • Pond
  • Description: An early 20th-century lily pond lies to the side of the hall.
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Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Admission by guided tour. By written appointment only with the tenants, Dr & Mrs C. Douglas. 01746 780838 Email: morvillehall@nationaltrust.org.uk

Directions

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/morville-hall/how-to-get-here/
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Morville
Associated People

Just one person associated to Morville Hall

Contact
References

References