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Willey Hall


Willey Hall had a landscape park featuring ponds and wooded areas.

The new hall and park at Willey were established between 1811 and 1820 by Lewis Wyatt for Cecil Weld-Forester. In 1815, a conservatory was attached to the house. A 270-acre park was created around the Hall, and as part of the design four local roads were closed. In addition, the Slaney almshouses and a clergyman's house were demolished, and the almshouses were replaced with new buildings in Barrow village, which lay out of sight of the hall. The hamlet of Hangstree Gate was also depopulated. John Cox, Forester's tenant at Willey Farm, complained of the expense of the imparkment. As a result, he was forced to take down fences, fill in ditches, and put down arable to grass.

The principal feature of the park were the three large ponds which the hall overlooked, and the wooded slopes of Shirlett forest lay beyond. In 1865, plans were produced by William Andrews Nesfield to redesign the grounds, but it appears that they were not implemented. He had suggested elaborate formal gardens around three sides of the house, as well as a complex parterre in front of hte conservatory, and a terraced walk above Willey Pools. Although the garden designs were not carried out, the plans may have resulted in a reduction of the park's acreage. By the late-19th century, the park had been reduced in size to 150 acres.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Country House (featured building)
  • Description: Willey Hall was built to replace the earlier Old Hall, which lay half a mile to the west. The entrance side of the hall is nine bays wide and two storeys high, and features a giant portico of four Corinthian columns carrying a pediment. The internal processional spaces of entrance hall, main hall, and staircase are some of the finest and most ingenious in the country.
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  • Pond
  • Description: Three large ponds, which were overlooked by the hall, were the primary feature of the landscape park.
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  • Conservatory
  • Description: A conservatory was added to the house in 1815, lying at the back of the centre of the ground floor. It is of five bays, and features slim pilasters and glazing.
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Key Information



Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


Part: standing remains



Open to the public


Civil Parish