Park/Garden record MNT26781 - Park at Newstead Abbey


LANDSCAPE PARK (Stuart to Late 20th Century)


Grid reference Centred SK 54467 53848 (2712m by 3139m)
Map sheet SK55SW
District Gedling
Civil Parish Newstead, Gedling


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Formal gardens, 10ha, within groundsof 135ha. Elements of garden practice from medieval times to present day. Newstead Abbey founded as a priory between 1163 and 1173, present building largely C13 and later. After the dissolution, acquired by Sir John Byron in 1540, and remained as a residence of the Byron family until 1817. Alterations C17, C18, C19, in particular by Colonel Thomas Wildman, who purchased the Abbey in 1817, and called in John Shaw to design alterations and additions, 1818 - c.1830. Now owned by the City ofNottingham. The formal gardens extend to the north, east and south-east of the Abbey, and are all enclosed, the walls being in part monastic or C16, but mostly C18. To the north the Monks Garden, with trees and shrubs divided by rectilinear paths; to north and north-east, a lawn, on the site of the priory church. Monument to Boatswain, 1808, the poet Byron's dog. North-east, the rectangular Eagle Pond, sunk within a varied but symmetrical framework of terraces. This feature probably C16, adapting a monastic stewpond. In north-east corner of walls a lawn, called Devil's Wood. Two early C18 statues set up 1784 by the fifth Lord Byron (1722-98). Immediately to north-east of Abbey the early C20 Spanish Garden, with a pattern of low box hedges resembling knots, given contrasting colour by spring tulips and summer annuals. Stewpond to south, possibly monastic, C19 tropical garden beside, with tunnel northwards to Eagle Pond, and to south-east two further enclosed areas, the C20 Iris Garden (previously fruit garden, and still containing old pears), and C20 Rose Garden (previously kitchen garden), with outstanding collections of both early roses and recent cultivars.
Round these enclosed formal areas are, to the north, the Forest Pond; to the east, Hall Lawn, leading beyond to Abbey Wood; and to the west, south-west and south, three lakes, all artificial, and formed by damming the river Leen - Upper Lake, Garden Lake, and Lower or Sherwood Lake (this last, including the Ragged Rock, late C18, now in separate ownership). The Upper Lake now c.12ha, of monastic origin, greatly enlarged by the fifth Lord Byron in the late 1740s. He built the Fort (northern shore) and Cannon Port (southern shore) which remain in part. A Gothic Tower has gone. The Garden Lake, 2ha, was dammed mid-C19 by Colonel Wildman. Lawn to north, with the stump of 'Byron's oak', planted 1798. Early C20 rock garden and mid-C20 heather garden to north-east. Below the Garden Lake, the early-C19 Japanese Garden, and to the south, the Lower or Sherwood Lake, dammed mid-C18. (2)
See M8293 for Country House, M5298 for Deer Park.

<1> Notts Historic Gardens Trust, 1995-1997, Notts Historic Parks and Gardens Files (Unpublished document). SNT4553.

<2> English Heritage, 1985, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England - part 33, Notts (Published document). SNT4554.

<3> Byron, Lord, 1823, Don Juan, canto xiii, stanzas lv-lix (Published document). SNT4602.

<4> Holme C, 1908, Gardens of England in the Midland and Eastern Counties, pl 88-89 (Published document). SNT4558.

<5> Jones, B, 1974, Follies and Grottoes (Published document). SNT4603.

<6> Pevsner N, 1979, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire 2nd ed. (Monograph). SNT4.

<7> Anthony J, 1979, The Gardens of Britain (Monograph). SNT418.

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Notts Historic Gardens Trust. 1995-1997. Notts Historic Parks and Gardens Files.
  • <2> Published document: English Heritage. 1985. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England - part 33, Notts.
  • <3> Published document: Byron, Lord. 1823. Don Juan. canto xiii, stanzas lv-lix.
  • <4> Published document: Holme C. 1908. Gardens of England in the Midland and Eastern Counties. pl 88-89.
  • <5> Published document: Jones, B. 1974. Follies and Grottoes.
  • <6> Monograph: Pevsner N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire 2nd ed.. Penguin.
  • <7> Monograph: Anthony J. 1979. The Gardens of Britain.

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 19 2023 7:34PM

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