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CHER Number:06866F
Type of record:Park and Garden
Name:Anglesey Abbey gardens

Summary

Grade II* registered mid 20th century gardens and grounds, with a notable collection of historic statuary, first laid out in the 1860s and altered by Lord Fairhaven between 1926 and 1966.

Grid Reference:TL 528 621
Parish:Lode, East Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

  • PARK (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • PLEASURE GARDEN (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • STATUE (18th century to 20th century - 1701 AD to 2000 AD)
  • TREE BELT (19th century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE AVENUE (19th century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ARBORETUM (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • SUNDIAL (18th century - 1788 AD to 1788 AD)
  • POOL (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • ROND POINT (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • ROSE GARDEN (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • GARDEN TEMPLE (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • ORCHARD (19th century to 20th century - 1801 AD to 2000 AD)
  • FLOWER GARDEN (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • HERBACEOUS BORDER (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • URN (18th century to 20th century - 1701 AD? to 2000 AD?)
  • LAWN (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • SPHINX (18th century - 1701 AD to 1800 AD)
  • OBELISK (18th century - 1701 AD to 1800 AD)
  • WALK (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • WALK (20th century - 1998 AD to 1998 AD)

Protected Status:

  • Registered Park or Garden (II*) 1000611: Anglesey Abbey

Full description

1. Grade II* registered mid 20th century gardens and grounds, with a notable collection of historic statuary, laid out by the owner Lord Fairhaven between 1926 and 1966. The main areas of enclosed gardens lie to the N. and S.W. of the Abbey. The N. front looks onto the Monks Garden, which is laid to grass planted with spring bulbs and fruit trees. Beyond its N. boundary lies the Dahlia Garden enclosed by curved beech hedges. A path leads along the E. front of the Abbey and round at the S. front which look over a formal square of lawn. Beyond this to the E. is the enclosed Rose Garden. Laid out with a series of simple rectangular beds, it was already in existence when Lord Fairhaven purchased the property in 1926 but was subsequently completely replanted by him. A path running along the southern boundary of the Rose Garden leads W. to the Formal Gardens, a polygonal enclosure of yew S.W. of the Abbey, planted with seasonal bedding.
Together the gardens and pleasure ground cover c40ha, the pleasure grounds laid out in a complex series of walks and cross walks, avenues and vistas, all punctuated by Lord Fairhaven's statuary collection. The Warrior's Walk runs parallel to the Emperor's walk and beyond this to the W. is the Arboretum. Spring Garden and Bishop's Walk, which together complete the pleasure ground areas to the E. of the Abbey.
Beyond the formal lawn on the S. front lies the South Glade, comprising lawns backed by trees and shrubs. Between the South Glade and the B1102 boundary is the South Park, an area of open grass scattered with mature trees, some of which are 19th century in origin. The whole area to the W. of Jubilee walk was farmland until the 1930s when Lord Fairhaven began to extend the grounds.

2. Before the grounds were acquired by Lord Fairhaven in 1926 the garden consisted of specimen trees around the house, an enclosed formal garden and an orchard, all possibly laid out by the Rev. John Hailstone, who altered the house in 1861. Boundary shelter belts had been planted in 1860. Lord Fairhaven completed avenues, vistas, hedged enclosures and walks, enhanced by statues and garden ornaments collected during the depression in the 1930s. His plans included a hyacinth garden, a dahlia garden, arboretums and hedged herbaceous borders. The house and gardens passed to the National Trust in 1966.

3. The grounds include some 100 acres set out in semi-compartmentalised form with avenues and cross avenues forming separate areas of lawn and hedged gardens to create a combination of the formal and picturesque on a scale rarely encountered in 20th century design. Several of the gardens are dedicated to seasonal planting, such as the Dahlia garden with enclosing beech hedges and the Hyacinth garden. Less formal areas include the arboretum lawn which contains specimens of Hungarian Oak, Algerian Oak, Tulip tree, Judas tree and Ginkgo.
Perhaps the most famous part of the grounds is the Great Avenue, with its half a mile sweep seen from the flanking 18th century lead sphinxes on massive stone plinths, and its cross axis vista to the Circular Temple. The Temple Lawn contains a temple of 12 Corinthian columns with a central figure of David by Bernini (copy). A newly created Winter Walk was inaugurated in 1998.

4. The enclosed gardens are set around the house and feature a wide selection of planting. The Rose garden features simple rectangular beds and contains a sundial dating from 1788 added by Lord Fairhaven. From the rose garden is a double avenue of alternating crab apples and cherries crossed by another avenue of the same trees with a point leading to the hyacinth garden. The Dahlia garden is enclosed by curving beech hedges, backed by Lombardy Poplars and features a variety of garden ornaments including one of ‘Time' attributed to Rysbrack. An arboretum leads from the side of the house leads to the Quarry Pool which is backed by trees and encircled by ornaments including the Drakelow Urn which is set on a Roman drum pedestal. The garden features many walks, avenues and lawns each with their own notable statuary.
Coronation Avenue: Two Sphinxes flank the entrance to the avenue which was constructed in 1937 and extended in 1939. The avenue originally featured a double avenue of planes and chestnuts, the planes removed after storm damage sustained during the 1960s.
Cross Avenue: planted with planes and chestnuts with two 18th-century obelisks at the entrance, the avenue terminates at each end in a circle of trees; one of Birch, one of Lombardy poplars, and each contains a central vase.
Daffodil Walk: renamed to the Jubilee Walk in 1977 ornamented with statuary.
Emperors' Lawn: a broad walk which contains four bay-like openings each containing a bronze urn. The walk ends with a collection of busts of Roman emperors in a semi-circle of copper beech and temple of Doric columns constructed in 1951 which houses a Porphyry vase and statuary from between 1748-1763.
Lime Avenue: with views to the mill, the avenue is flanked by statues of Samson and Philistines by Van Nost.
Temple Lawn: created in 1953 with golden yews and a green yew hedge also contains 12 Corinthian columns with two lions flanking the entrance and a copy of 'David' by Bernini in the centre of the lawn.
Wrestlers' Lawn: lawn with central focal point of a group of statues depicting wrestlers (presumably of the classical period).


<1> English Heritage, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, GD 1601 (Scheduling record). SCB17742.


<2> Cambridgeshire Garden Trust, 2000, The Gardens of Cambridgeshire: A Gazeteer, pp 76-77 (Bibliographic reference). SCB21348.


<3> Way, T., 1999, Historic Parks and Gardens in Cambridgeshire, 61 (Unpublished document). SCB21125.


<4> Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd, www.parksandgardens.ac.uk (Website). SCB21823.


<5> Pevsner, N., 1954, The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire, pp 291-293 (Bibliographic reference). SCB17744.


<6> Thomas, G. S., 1979, Gardens of the National Trust, pp 93-95 (Bibliographic reference). SCB21897.


<7> RCHM, 1972, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume II. North-East Cambridgeshire, pp 74-80 and pp 118-121 (Bibliographic reference). SCB13360.

Sources and further reading

<1>Scheduling record: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. GD 1601.
<2>Bibliographic reference: Cambridgeshire Garden Trust. 2000. The Gardens of Cambridgeshire: A Gazeteer. pp 76-77.
<3>Unpublished document: Way, T.. 1999. Historic Parks and Gardens in Cambridgeshire. 61.
<4>Website: Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. www.parksandgardens.ac.uk.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N.. 1954. The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire. pp 291-293.
<6>Bibliographic reference: Thomas, G. S.. 1979. Gardens of the National Trust. pp 93-95.
<7>Bibliographic reference: RCHM. 1972. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume II. North-East Cambridgeshire. pp 74-80 and pp 118-121.