Walton Hall Park
A park at Walton dating from the Post Medieval period. In the 19th century features of the park included woodland with a bath house, a lake, drives, pleasure grounds with terraces, formal gardens, a ha-ha and a kitchen garden. It is marked on Greenwoods map of 1822.
1 Early 18th century house shown with formal gardens in 1728 plan. Mid 18th century work included Bath House, possibly by Sanderson Miller. Late 18th century work included planting and widening of river. Formal gardens created mid to late 19th century, accompanying rebuild of house 1858. Features include parkland, woodland with Bath House, lake, river frontage, drives, lodges, pleasure grounds with terraces, formal gardens, fountain, conservatory, walks, ha-ha, kitchen garden. Listed structures include the house, stables, the Bath House,and two icehouses. Recommended for addition to Parks and Gardens Register.
2 There has probably been a manor house on this site since the 12th century. The Mordaunt family acquired the estate in 1541, but did not make it their principal residence until the late 17th century. Shortly afterwards a new house was built in the early 18th century. There is no evidence of a park at this date; the early 18th century house appears to have been set in formal gardens with an outlying terrace drive. In the mid to late 18th century a series of alterations were made; these included the construction of the Bath House (1740s, probably by Sanderson Miller), the reconstruction of the old church (1750s), and the creation of serpentine walks (1740s) and a lake north west of the house (1780s-90s). Early 19th century work may have included the creation of a formal terrace and a ha-ha around pleasure grounds. However, this has to some extent been concealed within extensive mid to late 19th century works associated with and following the reconstruction of the house in 1858. The later 19th century gardens included formal parterre terraces, shrubberies, walks, kitchen gardens, summerhouse and conservatory, and a new bridge over the river. Substantial planting also took place, and much of this survives. The Mordaunts died out in 1947 and the house was in use by the army until 1962, subsequently becoming a school and then a hotel. The overall quality of the surviving estate is good, and features such as the Bath House are particularly fine. The site deserves further research.
3 – 4 The OS 1:10560 1886 Shts Warks 45NW/SW show the late 19th century landscape.
5 – 6 The OS 1:10560 1906 Shts Warks 45NW/SW show the parkland shaded.
7 Greenwood’s map (1822) is the first to show parkland at Walton, though earlier maps show some landscape features characteristic of parkland. Most internal boundaries had been removed by the second half of the 19th century.
8 Illustrative map for 7.
9 Greenwood’s map.