Umberslade Park

Description of this historic site

The site of a landscape park dating from the Post Medieval period and altered throughout the Imperial period and 20th century. It is known from documentary evidence and is marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1886. It is situated north east of Tanworth in Arden.Recommended for inclusion on Register by Lovie.

Notes about this historic site

1 House built 1693 – 8. Formal gardens removed in 1740s, replace by features incl summerhouse (1744), obelisk (1749). Neglected early 19th century, subsequently reworked. Features include parkland, lakes and pools, boathouses, drives, lodges, pleasure grounds, boundary planting, terraces, walks, conservatory, walled garden, long avenue, obelisk. Recommended for addition to Parks & Gardens Register.
2 The Archers held Umberslade manor from the 12th century onwards, but during the 16th and 17th centuries increased their landholding. The park is not shown on Speed’s map of 1610 but probably existed by 1630. The existing manor house was rebuilt 1693-8 for Andrew Archer.The late 17th century house, itself of architectural significance, was accompanied by formal gardens, some parts of which are shown in an illustration of 1731 [reproduced]. Beighton’s map of 1725 shows that the monumental avenue already existed by this date. The formal gardens were removed in the 1740s and a landscape park, influenced by the ferme ornee style, laid out (designer not known). Features of this phase included a summerhouse (not extant), obelisk (outside the park), and lake. But in the late 18th century the house ceased to be occupied by the family, and much of the park had been turned over to agriculture by 1815. From the mid 19th century onwards a new phase of landscaping took place, making use of surviving features of earlier schemes. The main entrance to the house was shifted to the east side, and a new avenue planted to flank its drive. Formal gardens were laid out across the old west front, the kitchen garden was restored, and there was extensive 19th century planting in the pleasure grounds and park. The 19th century layout has been altered by the late 20th century conversion into flats, with the entrance being returned to the west side, thus cutting across the formal gardens. Part of the land has been returned to agricultural use and the avenue is somewhat overgrown. Umberslade is a significant site with the potential for further detailed study, as the Archer archives (held at the Shakespeare Birthplace Record Office) are extensive. [Photos included].
3 The OS 1:10560 1886 Sht Warks 24SE shows the 19th century park after the eastern drive had been laid out.
4 The OS 1:10560 1921 Sht Warks 24SE shows the park shaded and shows further alterations in the area west of the house; the layout of the walled kitchen garden is also clearly shown.
5 Portable Antiquities Scheme find provenance information:
Date found: 2006-01-01T00:00:00Z
Methods of discovery: Metal detector