Stratford Park, Stroud (also known as Stritfords House, Stratford House)6911

England, Gloucestershire, Stroud

Brief Description

The grounds to the east and south of the house, sloping down to the lake, are lawned with specimen trees including Cedar of Lebanon. The bandstand is to the south-west of the house and the derelict walled kitchen garden to the north-west of the house. There is a small arboretum with well marked paths. The parkland to the west of the house has been developed for recreation and sport.

History

Stratford Park was first recorded in 1307. The property passed to Giles Gardner in 1671. He built a house on the present site in 1674, there being date stones on and inside the present house. In 1780 the house was enlarged by Nathaniel Winchcombe (later Clifford). Anthony Keck was probably the architect. In 1819 the house was sold to Joseph Watts. Maps show the walled garden at this time. His grandson Joseph Watts Hallewell inherited in 1855. During their ownership the grounds were developed. It is thought some of the trees came from the Holfords of Westonbirt. The property was put up for sale in 1891 on the death of Mr Watts Hallewell. Mr Ormerod, the owner in the early-20th century died in the 1930s, and following his wishes the site was sold in 1935 to Stroud Urban District Council, who built the swimming pool and bowling green in 1936. The Leisure Centre was built in 1975 and The Museum in the Park opened in 2001.

Visitor Facilities

This is a municipal park, open daily for public use.
Features

Style

  • English Landscape Garden
Bandstand, Ornamental Lake, Ornamental Bridge, Conservatory, Gate Piers, Gateway, Specimen Tree
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is a municipal park, open daily for public use.

Directions

North west of Stroud centre
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Stroud
History

Detailed History

The name Stratford was first recorded in 1307. Gilbert of Stratford was the family that took their name from the ford on the Stroud/Paganhill stream. Land which later became Stratford Park lay to the north of the Stroud Paganhill road and belonged to Edward of Stratford at his death in 1607. He was succeeded by his grandson and great grandson Edward who sold the estate in 1653 to Nathaniel Gardener, a mercer of Stroud. The estate passed to Giles Gardener on Nathaniel's death in 1671. This was the start of Stratford Park as we know it.

Giles built a house on the site of the present Mansion House in 1674, some remnants of which remain. There are date stones both inside and outside the present house, although part of this 1674 house was demolished in the 1950s, On his death his son and later his daughter Sarah inherited. In 1780 she devised the house to a relative James Winchcombe of Bownhams, Rodborough. Later in the 1780s it passed to Nathaniel Winchcombe (later Clifford), who enlarged the house to its present form. It is believed that the architect was Anthony Keck, as he had already done work on Bownhams and later work on Highgrove for John Paul Paul was attributed to him. The house was sold in 1802 to Robert Brittain and in 1805 to Sir Samuel Wathen, a clothier from Woodchester, and again in 1819 to Joseph Watts, a brewer. A map of 1819 shows a walled garden divided into four quarters in the same position as the current walled garden.

It was from this date until the death of his grandson Joseph Watts-Hallewell in 1891 that the main development of the gardens took place. The cast iron bridge over the brook is early-19th century and the lake is shown on the tithe map of 1842, but not on an earlier one of 1825. Many of the fine specimen trees were planted and it is believed Mr Watts Hallewell shared new introductions with Mr Holford of Westonbirt. In 1892 the top floor of the house was removed and the site was purchased by Mr G F Ormerod who continued the planting of the grounds. It was his wish that after his death (in the 1930s) it should be purchased for the people of Stroud.

After the purchase by Stroud Urban District Council in 1935, the outdoor swimming pool, bowling green and tennis courts were built in 1936 on land to the west of the house, with attractive ancillary building. In 1975 the functional leisure centre was built along side the western wall of the walled garden. The outer parts of the parkland were made into playing fields. In 2001 the Stroud Museum was moved into the house.

Period

  • Victorian (1837-1901)
Associated People

Just one person associated to Stratford Park, Stroud

References

References