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Tylney Hall


Tylney Hall has late Victorian and Edwardian gardens, pleasure grounds and a park of 125 hectares surrounding a country house. The house is a hotel, open to guests, diners, wedding and conference attendees.


The land falls steeply on the north-west side of the house and more gently on the south-west and east sides.
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):

Late Victorian and Edwardian gardens, pleasure grounds, and a park associated with a country house. The gardens were laid out by Seldon Wornum in 1899-1901, with additions by Robert Weir Schultz in 1901-04, with planting advice by Gertrude Jekyll.



Tylney Hall, c 125ha, is located on the crest of a north-facing hill halfway between the villages of Rotherwick and Newnham. The land falls steeply on the north-west side of the house and more gently on the south-west and east sides. Views to the north-west are now (2000) obscured by planting. Tylney is bounded by Newnham village to the south, Rotherwick village to the north-east, and lanes and roads around most of the boundary, with open fields and copses beyond.


The estate has lodges in Rotherwick village to the north-east and in Newnham to the south. From the southern lodge, West Lodge (Wornum 1899-1901, listed, together with the gate piers, grade II), a tree-lined drive curves gently northwards through an area of open parkland. This formed the main approach to the late C19 house but is no longer in use. The north drive is marked by a straight lime avenue which leads across the park from Rotherwick Lodge following the line of a drive indicated on an estate map of 1774. An area of car parking now interrupts its path a little to the north of the Hall. A short drive leads from Ridge Lane to the east, past Middle Lodge (Wornum, listed grade II) and through an area of pleasure grounds to the entrance courtyard on the north-east side of the Hall, formed by the three sides of the U-shaped house. A pair of gate piers (Schultz c 1902, listed grade II) stand on the north-east side of the courtyard, attached to the ballroom and another pair (Schultz c 1902, listed grade II) stand on the south-east side of the courtyard attached to the service wing.


Tylney Hall (listed grade II*) stands in the centre of the gardens, surrounded by parkland. It was built for Charles E Harris to the designs of Edward Birchall. The Hall was extensively altered between 1899 and 1901 by Selden Wornum for Sir Lionel Philips, and then by Robert Weir Schultz from 1901 to 1904. It is a red-brick, Tudor-style E-plan house, with a gabled porch in the centre of the entrance (north-east) front. To the south-east of the Hall is a one-storey red-brick courtyard, the former kitchen wing. To the south-east of the kitchen courtyard is a two-storey stable courtyard, with a central round-arched entrance flanked by double Doric columns and with a clock above. To the south-east of the Stable Courtyard is the red-brick Laundry Courtyard. The courtyards are more utilitarian in design the further they are from the Hall.


In front of the north-west front of the Hall are two terraces, beyond which is a lawn, enclosed by the trees of the thickly wooded pleasure grounds. The surrounding trees have grown to obscure the fine views from the terrace. A double flight of central steps leads down from the paved top terrace to the levelled lawn of the Italian Garden (Wornum c 1900) over 3m below. The land falls steeply from here down to a pair of lakes, 150m and 250m north-west of the Hall. Flights of steps provide access from the sides of the garden up to the pleasure grounds and from the pair of brick loggias (listed grade II* together with the terrace and garden) at the far end of the lawn to the more informal area beyond. A seat (c 1900, possibly by Schultz, listed grade II) is placed at the east end of the east stair of the terrace. Robert Weir Schultz submitted a layout for the Italian terrace as part of his commission to develop the gardens. He worked closely with Gertrude Jekyll who supplied the planting plans. The main south-west to north-east axis of the Italian Garden is extended as a path through Wellingtonias to the site of a brick summerhouse, of which only the base remains. To the north, at right angles off this path, is a circular rose garden ringed by a yew hedge. The pleasure grounds around it are planted informally with a mixture of native and exotic trees. Gravelled paths lead through them and round the upper and lower lakes. An early C20 boathouse stood at the northern end of the upper lake but only the base of this now survives (2000).

The south-west side of the Hall is treated simply, with a stone sundial standing at the head of the Long Lawn. A lime walk leads off from the Lawn to the kitchen garden. The Lawn forms a broad grass vista along which there are views out to the surrounding countryside. A tennis court surrounded by a yew hedge is situated next to Schultz's water tower (listed grade II* together with the walled kitchen gardens), which stands at the north-west corner of the kitchen garden. Wornum linked the house to the kitchen garden area by a Dutch Garden, a small enclosed rectangular garden on two levels. A swimming pool was inserted into the lower level in the 1950s.

To the south of the kitchen garden is a water and rock garden laid out c 1906 to a plan by Schultz, with detailed planting by Jekyll. The area was partly reworked by William Wood of Taplow in 1935-6. Two streams flow from an informal pond, originally a canal which formed part of the C18 layout, and form a series of pools running through rockwork to a second, larger pond.


The main area of parkland forms the setting for the pleasure grounds to the north, west, and east of the Hall. Now a golf course, the basic structure of the original clumps in the hilly landscape has been preserved, and the two avenues are intact. The lime avenue aligned on the north-east front frames a view across the park and country beyond. It marks the line of the approach to the C18 house which was surrounded by an extensive formal landscape laid out in the 1720s. Much of the timber in the park was cut down in the early C19 to pay the debts of William Pole Wellesley, to whom the estate had passed by marriage. The flatter south park still has some parkland plantings and is encircled by a shelter belt of pines. The road to the east is screened by a narrow shelter belt.


The brick-walled kitchen garden (walls and buildings together listed grade II*) to the south of the Hall, and the orchards beyond, were designed by Wornum as an integral part of the garden scheme. The garden has been grassed over but the walls and associated garden buildings, including the head gardener's house, apple store, mushroom house, bothy, potting shed, and grape store remain. A little of the glass from the original ranges survives. One of the approaches to the kitchen garden is from the south-east corner, through an archway with an attached garden house (Schultz 1901-04, together listed grade II*) at the southern end of the Laundry Court.


Architectural Review 16, (1904), pp 81-5

Gardeners' Chronicle, i (1905), pp 257-9

J Brown, Miss Gertrude Jekyll (1981), pp 20-1

Tylney Hall, Restoration and Management Plan, (Land Use Consultants 1991)


Estate plan, 1774 (reproduced in LUC 1991)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1871-4; 2nd edition published 1897; 3rd edition published 1912

OS 25" to 1 mile 1st edition surveyed 1872; 3rd edition published 1911

Description written: March 2000

Edited: February 2004

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


01256 764881


The hotel is north of the M3 at junction 5.


Tylney Hall Hotel Ltd

Ashdown Park, Wych Cross, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JR

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):


The first Tylney Hall was built in 1700, although a mansion had existed on the site since the 16th century. In 1725 the estate passed through the female line to Richard Child, Viscount Castlemaine, later Earl of Tylney. An extensive formal landscape was laid out during his ownership. Following the marriage in 1812 of Catherine Tylney Long to William Wellesley Pole and their later financial difficulties, the mansion was demolished and the valuable timber on the estate was sold. Between 1857 and 1878 the property was unoccupied. During the 1870s Charles E Harris gradually began to purchase land on the estate, finally acquiring over 3000 acres (around 1215 hectares). Harris then commissioned Edward Birchett to build a new mansion on the site of the 18th-century house. This was extensively altered between 1899 and 1901 by Seldon Wornum for Sir Lionel Philips; Wornum also laid out formal gardens, including the Italian Terrace, Dutch Garden, and the kitchen garden. Robert Weir Schultz carried out further work on the Hall from 1901 to 1904 and was called in by Lady Philips 'to lay out the beds and formal parts of a luxurious garden layout including orangery, greenhouses, summer houses, boathouse etc' (Victorian Society notes). In 1906 Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was called in to supply Schultz with a design and planting plans for a Wild Garden, and for flower borders in the gardens. Phillips sold Tylney before the First World War and during the war the Hall was used as a hospital. It was sold again in 1919 to Major Cayzer, later Lord Rotherwick, who sold the estate in 1933 to his shipping line, and it became the headquarters of the Clan Line. In 1946 the Hall and park were sold to Middlesex County Council and the Hall was converted into a residential home. The park was then sold on to Tylney Golf Club and when Middlesex County Council was abolished the Hall and remaining grounds were taken over by Brent Borough Council. In 1984 Brent Borough Council sold the Hall and the 25 hectares garden to Celebrated Country Hotels, in whose ownership they remain (2000). Brent Borough Council retained part of the parkland for use as an outdoor education centre and the remaining parkland continues as a golf course.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens

  • Reference: GD1079
  • Grade: II*


  • Mansion House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: Giant redwoods.
  • Water Feature
  • Description: Water garden.
  • Lake
  • Ornamental Bridge
  • Planting
  • Description: Rose garden.
  • Gardens
  • House
Key Information





Principal Building






Open to the public


Civil Parish




Related Documents
  • CLS 1/348

    Restoration and Management of the Gardens - Digital copy

    LUC - 1986 - 1996