Orleton Hall 2517

Telford, England, Shropshire

Brief Description

Orleton Hall has a landscape park and walled garden. Features include a Chinoiserie summerhouse.

History

Orleton Hall is an 18th and 19th-century building occupying a medieval moated site. The grounds were probably established in the second half of the 18th century.

Detailed Description

Orleton Hall, lying just west of Wellington, is an 18th- and 19th-century building occupying a medieval moated site. A fine Chinoiserie gazebo of the mid-18th century is the earliest surviving evidence of gardens accompanying the hall.

There was a park as early as 1808, but its extent is first clearly defined on a map of 1827. At this point, Watling Street formed the southern boundary of the park. There was a lodge and tree-lined avenue leading to the hall from Watling Street, and it is likely that this was the main entrance throughout the 19th century. In the mid 19th century, there were pleasure grounds around the hall, and a walled garden which contained the aforementioned gazebo.

By 1881-82, the extent of the park had changed considerably. In the south-east it had been extended to meet the Haygate-Watling Street road, but it had shrunk considerably to the west and south-west. At this time it appears that the formal gardens lay to the south and south-west of the hall, and featured a fountain and a small bridge.

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/lis...

Gardens, including a Chinoiserie summerhouse, and an 18th-century landscape park associated with a country house.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Orleton Hall stands within its park immediately west of Wellington, an historic market town which now lies on the western fringe of Telford new town. To the south the park is bounded by the B5061 Watling Street (Holyhead Road). Once one of the country's great highways, since the opening of the M54 and the A5 Shrewsbury by-pass this has been a minor local road. To the east the park is bounded by Haygate Road and the back (or Wellington) drive. Otherwise the park boundary follows field edges. The area here registered is c 25ha.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

The park is entered by a gate with squat stone piers, probably of c 1840, on the Watling Street. On the east side of the gate is a rendered lodge of the 1960s. This replaced an earlier structure. From here a drive curves gently northward through the park, with the Hall being revealed only towards its end. This drive ends in the gravelled forecourt which lies between the Hall and the gatehouse. There is also access via the back drive up the east side of the park. This runs along the north side of the kitchen garden before passing over the bridge and beneath the gatehouse.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

Orleton Hall (listed grade II*) was refronted c 1830 by Edward Haycock; since then its facade has been of nine bays and two-and-a-half storeys, with a pediment over the centre three bays. The greater part of the structure is of the later C18 although it probably incorporates part of an earlier, triple-gabled, timber-framed house, possibly C17. This itself was presumably built on the site of the medieval messuage, for as late as 1792 the house was completely surrounded by a moat. Today only the north-east arm thereof survives. That is crossed by a stone bridge, possibly late medieval, which leads to a timber-frame and brick gatehouse (both listed grade II) of 1588 and later.

There are extensive kitchen buildings and outbuildings on the north side of the Hall, and beyond them farm buildings including a stable and coach house (listed grade II) of 1735 and a brick dovecote (listed grade II) of c 1800.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The gardens and pleasure grounds around the Hall are separated from the park to the south by a crenellated yew hedge. From the Hall there are views over this, across the park to the wooded slopes of The Wrekin and The Ercall which lie c 2km to the south. South of the Hall is a long, shaved lawn, bounded to the east by the drive. From here a path leads east to the kitchen garden and its summerhouse, crossing a small stream via a footbridge. The lawn extends around the west side of the Hall. A fountain with infilled basin stands near the centre of the west lawn, set around which are four small, circular flower beds with formal bedding. A shrubbery with mature specimen trees extends down the west side of the garden. Paths curve through this. A dogs' graveyard lies on its west edge.

PARK

The Hall lies at the north end of a park which extends to the Watling Street. The park is 800m long from north to south and 400m wide, the position of the Hall and the line of the drive giving the visitor the impression its extent is larger. The south and east sides of the park are defined by a low stone wall of 1840 (datestone at south-east corner). Its interior is mainly permanent pasture with large numbers of parkland trees. These include many old oaks which probably stood originally in the hedgerows of the pre-park agricultural landscape. Near the centre of the park the drive passes the west side of an ornamental plantation, and there are small woods on the south and east borders of the park. In the late C20 the park was enlarged by c 2.5ha on its south-west side; a walnut plantation was established herein in the 1990s.

Since 1949 Wellington Cricket Club has occupied a ground in the east side of the park. It is also used by the Shropshire county side.

The date of the park's creation is unknown. In 1728 the Hall still lay in an agricultural landscape of small closes, represented today by the abovementioned oaks, and no park is shown on Rocque's map of 1752. By 1792, when the Hall was painted (private collection), imparkment had taken place.

KITCHEN GARDEN

The brick-walled kitchen garden, probably mid C18 (walls listed grade II), lies c 100m east of the Hall. It is roughly square, measuring 65m north/south by 60m, and is divided into quarters with a central sundial. In the late C20 the garden was still gardened traditionally, for vegetables, flowers and fruit. Against the north wall is a later C19 vinery. The main entrance is in the centre of the west wall; this has an elaborate wrought-iron gate, possibly of c 1900. Against the centre of the east wall is a two-storey Chinoiserie summerhouse (listed grade II*) of the mid C18 (with mid C19 brickwork to the basement), the main first-floor reception room reached by a flight of steps. From its door there is a view back across the garden to the south side of the Hall. Underneath is a basement service room. In the later C19 or early C20 the structure was inhabited by the gardener, and ever since has been known as The Bothy. To its south is a small swimming pool.

REFERENCES

The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire xi, (1985), p 312

P A Stamper, Historic Parks and Gardens of Shropshire (1996), pp 51, 61

Country Life, no 26 (25 June 1998), pp 106-10

Shropshire Magazine, (September 1998), pp 26-7

Maps

Map of Orleton, 1728 (private collection)

J Rocque, Map of Shropshire, 1752

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1880-1, published 1889-90

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1881, published 1882; 2nd edition surveyed 1900, published 1902

Archival items

Painting of Hall, 1792 (private collection)

Description written: September 1998

Register Inspector: PAS

Edited: February 2000

Features
  • Summerhouse
  • Description: A Chinoiserie summerhouse or gazebo stands in the walled garden at Orleton Hall, and is one of the few of its style to survive intact in Shropshire.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Country House (featured building)
  • Description: Orleton Hall is a stucco-rendered late-Georgian house of 2.5 storeys, and a 9-bay front facade. There is also a timber-framed gatehouse of 1588 which was later altered.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Dry Moat
  • Description: Orleton Hall stands on a medieval moated site.
  • Gatehouse
  • Description: There is a timber-framed gatehouse just beyond the moat, north of the hall. It was much altered in later years, with an oval window, a Gothick dormer, and a lantern, all probably around 1766.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: There is a gate lodge along Watling Street, at the southern boundary of the park.
  • Latest Date:
  • Avenue
  • Description: A tree-lined avenue led from the gate lodge north to the hall.
  • Latest Date:
  • Ornamental Fountain
  • Description: There was a fountain in the formal gardens in the late 19th century.
  • Latest Date:
  • Ornamental Bridge
  • Description: There was a small bridge in the formal gardens in the late 19th century.
  • Latest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Wrockwardine
History

Detailed 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/lis...

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

From the later 14th century the manor of Orleton was owned by the Cludde family, descending from father to son until Edward Cludde (died 1721) left it to his nephew William Cludde. On his death in 1765, Orleton passed to his son Edward (died 1785), who was succeeded by his nephew William Pemberton of Wrockwardine Hall (died 1829). He took the name Cludde under the terms of his uncle's will. Orleton remains in private hands as of 1998.

Period

  • 18th Century
Contact
References

References