Ruckley Grange 6502

Shifnal, England, Shropshire

Brief Description

Ruckley Grange has a house and grounds featuring a park, plantations, and water features.

History

The grounds of Ruckley Grange were considerably embellished in the early 19th century. The park and gardens were further developed throughout the 19th century, and the house was rebuilt in 1904.

Detailed Description

The grounds of Ruckley Grange were embellished in the early 19th century. Probably around 1820-1830, shrubberies and plantations of yew, pine and birch were planted east and west of the house, and a small park lay north and south. To the west of the house, the Timlet brook and a tributary were dammed to form two pools, one falling into the other down a waterfall. This water feature was approached by rock-cut steps.

John Jones, the owner in 1858, enclosed the park to the east and north with a stone wall, and also built at least one lodge. Jones also commissioned rebuilding work at the house in 1851, which saw further works in 1874, and by 1891 the house included a conservatory. The grounds at this time featured parterre flower gardens and mazy wilderness walks, as described in the sale catalogue of 1895. To the west of the house lay Ruckley Pool, which had been enlarged and screened with ornamental woodlands during the 19th century.

In 1896, John Reid Walker, owner of Walkers Brewery in Warrington, bought Ruckley Grange, and in 1904 he commissioned the architects Sir Ernest George and Yates to remodel the house, outbuildings, and gardens. South of the house they created a formal Italianate garden, with stone balustrading along low terraces, tall yew hedges, and a long stone basin or canal with a copper-roofed summerhouse at the far end. The formality and austerity of this design scheme was in marked contrast to the previous gardens.

Below the house a large open-air swimming pool was created, together with a Swiss chalet-style changing room. The architects also built two new lodges in the park, both in the Arts and Crafts style. George and Yates were also responsible for several other structures and features in the grounds, including a neo-Elizabethan stable block and a neo-Jacobean gazebo, which lay 80 metres south of the house, and featured an adjoining balustrated retaining wall.

Features
  • Country House (featured building)
  • Description: Ruckley Grange is a stone house with mullioned and transomed windows, built in the neo-Elizabethan style. The entrance side is E-shaped.
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  • Water Course
  • Description: To the west of the house, Timlet Brook was dammed to form two pools, one falling down to the other via a waterfall.
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  • Plantation
  • Description: Plantations of yew, pine, and birch were located east and west of the house in the early-19th century.
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  • Park Wall
  • Description: In the mid-19th century, the park was enclosed to the east and north with a stone wall.
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  • Conservatory
  • Description: By 1891, the house featured an attached conservatory.
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  • Pool
  • Description: Ruckley Pool, which lay west of the house, was enlarged and screened with woodland during the 19th century.
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  • Hunting Lodge
  • Description: Ernest George and Yates built two lodges in the park around 1904, in the emerging Arts and Crafts style.
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  • Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Description: An outdoor swimming pool was created south of the house, but out of sight of the residence. The pool included a changing room in the style of a Swiss chalet.
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  • Canal
  • Description: A stone-lined canal or basin formed the central feature of the formal Italianate garden which lay to the south of the house. A copper-roofed summerhouse sat at one end.
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Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Shifnal
Associated People
References

References