Bitham House grounds
Mid 19th century villa gardens and park at Bitham House, considered to be a particularly fine example of a designed landscape of this period.
1 Grounds of Grade II Listed Italianate villa built c1855 by T A Perry, late nurseryman of Chelsea. He also laid out extensive parkland and gardens, including conservatory and terraces, as well as a kitchen garden. Very fine planting survives. House now converted to apartments.
Recommended for inclusion on the Parks and Gardens Register.
2 Perhaps the most significant 19th century private park and gardens in the county, but poorly documented. The house was built on a new site 1854-5 for Thomas Aloysius Perry, one of the partners of Knight & Perry’s nurseries, Chelsea, also known as ‘The Exotic Nursery’ because it specialised in rarities and exotica. Both Knight and Perry retired in 1853 and retired to Avon Dassett, where the Knight family (into which Perry had married) appear to have already held part of the Bitham House estate (further land was acquired in the mid 1850s). The architect of the house is not known, but Perry designed the grounds himself. Features include a drive, a pool (probably the site referred to in 1891 as the ‘Rustic Garden’), terraced lawns and parkland, a large walled kitchen garden, and the Grade II Listed glasshouse. The grounds are distinguished by their walks and by the quality of the planting, particularly the wide range of specimen deciduous and coniferous trees (Knight & Perry had co-authored a well regarded book on conifers in 1850). The house has been divided into apartments but the grounds survive well. Recommended for inclusion on the Register of Parks and Gardens. Source includes photographs (p241-246).
3 OS 1:10560 1887 Sht Warks 52NE shows house and grounds.
4 OS 1:10560 1923 Sht Warks 52NE shows house, with parkland shaded.