Stourton Castle (also known as Stewpony, Kinver)3140

Stourbridge, England, Staffordshire, South Staffordshire

Brief Description

There are extensive pleasure grounds around the house, including a knot garden and walks. It is a well-treed site in good condition. The parkland stretches to the north. In the late-20th century the walled garden became a garden centre and the stables were converted to housing.

History

The site was a hunting lodge in the Kinver Forest around 1184. The original moated house, built in 1446, was demolished after the Civil War.

Detailed Description

The present garden, created following considerable alterations to the house by Sir Robert Smirke in 1831 and 1832, consists of terraces on three sides. Those on the south side are 9m below the house, and contain a small box and gravel parterre on the upper terrace, replicating a larger and more intricate version shown in an early-20th-century photograph.

An iron fountain and basin on the lower level appear to have been placed there in order to provide a viewpoint from windows in the castle, but not as part of the original design, as on the ground the feature appears awkwardly placed.

The two original, steep terraces have evidently slipped during one of the periods of neglect, and have been made safe by shoring them up into four narrow paths. This has been accomplished by redistributing the original stone from the walls, and consolidating it with rather crude brickwork. Old photographs show that the stone retaining wall of the lower terrace had extended to the west front, where it was planted up as a rockwork feature. There may also have been planting on the east side, but no evidence is visible.

A circular pond has been inserted into the lawn, adjacent to ther weir in the river. The pond is approximately 13 metres in diameter, with a concrete cill, but is now empty and surrounded by bamboo and rhodedendrons. The position and planting suggest that this probably took place towards the end of the 19th century. It forms a focal point of any view from the rooms on this side of the house.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The present house was built on a terrace overlooking the River Stour. It has a symmetrical facade with a Gothic lodge. It was remodelled in 1832 from designs by Robert Smirke.
  • Stable Block
  • Description: Now converted to housing.
Knot Garden, Walk
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Kinver
History

Detailed History

The estate dates back to the 12th century, when Stourton was a royal hunting lodge. Since then, it has been leased and sold many times, and oftern left unoccupied for extended periods of time.

Period

  • Tudor (1485-1603)
Associated People
Contact
References

References