Warwickshire (within its historical borders) has a fabulous heritage of outstanding parks and gardens, many being registered by Historic England as being particularly worthy of protection. These are headed by Grade I Farnborough Hall, a garden laid out with the advice of Sanderson Miller, one of the great exponents of the early English Landscape Garden and mentor of ‘Capability’ Brown who went on to layout Warwick Castle (also Grade I). There are seventeen Grade II* gardens, many of which are public spaces or open to the public. These include Birmingham Botanical Garden, Castle Bromwich Hall, Combe Abbey, Hill Close Gardens and Key Hill Cemetery. Great country house gardens in this category and regularly open to the public include the privately owned Arbury Hall and Ragley Hall; the National Trust properties of Charlecote Park, Packwood House and Upton House; and Kenilworth Castle, Compton Verney and Stoneleigh Abbey. A further 26 are registered Grade II, notably the public spaces known collectively as Spa Gardens (Leamington Spa), Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s Garden (Stratford-upon-Avon) and Lady Herbert’s Garden (Coventry).
Many of the following appear in the Parks and Gardens UK [PGUK] database from which their brief descriptions have been taken and a link provided, together with their Historic England grading where applicable: (N.B. this is distinct from and frequently differing from the listing given to any buildings on a property). Others are contemporary gardens of a quality worthy of inclusion. Some indication has been given of accessibility to the public, with the caveats that this should in no way be relied upon and that opening times may be limited. This list, with its accompanying materials, is subject to ongoing revision. Any help with updates, historic or photographic images or alerts to archival material would be particularly welcome.
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Admington House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Admington House is an early 17th century house and associated gardens. Features include old woodlands with a pond, an open lawn with a ha-ha, formal Victorian garden, and a large pool with water channels. Not open to the public.
Alscot Park, Atherstone-on-Stour
Grade II. Alscot is a landscape park of about 100 hectares. It surrounds a large gothic house dating from 1752, with 19th and 20th-century garden development. There are also formal gardens of about 2 hectares, including a lavender garden, orangery, walled vegetable garden and herb beds. It has limited opening to the public.
Alveston House, Stratford-upon-Avon
The site has been recorded since 886 as part of Worcester Priory. The present house dates from 1689. Features of the garden include a lime avenue, traces of terraces, and a walled garden with a central ornamental lake.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II. The site has a flower garden and orchard covering approximately 0.5 hectares, beside a 15th-century cottage. The garden is probably 19th century in plan, and was re-modelled in 1923-4. It is planted in the cottage garden style. Features include flowers, herbs and small shrubs, many of which are specifically mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays, or were known in 16th century England. Open to the public.
Ansley Hall, Nuneaton
Research on this landscape is underway and will be added as soon as it is available. [It is thought that Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown had an involvement, on the basis of a recorded payment to him from from a Mr. Ludford, its supposed owner.]
Arbury Hall, Nuneaton
Grade II*. Arbury Hall has an 18th century landscape park with lakes, constructed on the site of a former Augustinian priory. The site covers about 180 hectares, comprising ten hectares of gardens and 170 hectares of parkland and lakes. The gardens in the vicinity of the hall were modified in the 19th and 20th centuries. Features include wisteria, rhododendrons and azaleas, and a rose garden. Open to the public.
4, Archery Fields, Warwick
This is a contemporary urban garden landscaped by Susanna Brown to provide a setting in which the owner could plant the smaller specimens of an extensive collection of rare and exotic trees. Under-plantings of shrubs, alpines, and bulbs provide year round interest. The garden is occasionally open to the public as part of NGS and other Warwick events.
A house and associated gardens and small park, said to have been laid out by Markham Nesfield in about 1876. The site covers about 16.8 hectares. Original features included a kitchen garden, orchard, conservatory, lily pond, box maze, and artificial lake with island and bridge. The house is now a hotel and country club with sports facilities and a golf course.
A garden covering about 1.5 hectares, associated with a country house, the earliest portions of which date to about 1648, with later 17th additions/alterations. Garden features include a late C17 walled front garden, with three gazebos, yew hedges and a water canal.
Ashorne Hill College, Leamington Spa
The site has the wooded grounds of a country house completed in 1896, which occupy about 14 hectares and include formal gardens, lawns and topiary. New buildings have been erected in the grounds since the house became a management training college.
Ashorne House, Leamington Spa
The grounds of this country house include formal gardens, a lawn with heather beds and fruit trees, a small area of woodland, a rose garden, flower beds, gravelled walks, herbaceous borders and an orchard.
Aston Hall, Birmingham
Grade II. Aston Hall Park is a public park occupying about 21 hectares. This is all that remains of a 17th-century deer park which originally covered about 130 hectares. The semi-formal 17th-century design survives in part. Open to the public.
Baddesley Clinton Hall, Solihull
Grade II. Baddesley Hall is a medieval moated manor house with a courtyard garden of about 0.2 hectares, and surrounding lawn, fields, orchard and woodland occupying 33 hectares in total. The earliest surviving details in the gardens are a series of fishponds dug in 1444. Other features include a Victorian lakeside walk, a nature trail, and a late-19th-century formal garden. Open to the public.
Baraset House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Baraset House was originally a compact classically-designed villa, built in 1800, on an estate of 96 hectares. The house demolished in about 1928, except for the service wing and stable block which still survive. Garden features include a tree-lined drive to the house, a large kitchen garden, and informal planting of conifers and deciduous trees.
Barton House, nr. Moreton-in-Marsh
The original house, which dates from 1558, was extended by Inigo Jones in 1636. There are later alterations. The gardens continue to develop and include a Victorian kitchen garden, a secret garden, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, a Himalayan garden, a catalpa walk, a vineyard planted in 2000, and an exotic garden, planted in 2002, which features palm, cypress and olive trees. The gardens occupy 2.6 hectares within a larger estate.
Bedworth Cemetery, Bedworth
Grade II. Bedworth Cemetery is a municipal cemetery designed by George Taylor of Coventry, architect and surveyor. The roughly three-hectare site is approximately triangular-shaped, and is bounded to the south-east by Coventry Road. The site is generally level with views north-east to the tower of the parish church, and south-east to Coventry Road. Features include a number of entrances, several groups of specimen trees, a promenade and a war memorial. Open to the public.
Billesley Manor, Stratford-upon-Avon
Billesley Manor is a Jacobean moated manor house dating from 1610 to 1620. The estate suffered during the 18th and 19th centuries before being ‘rescued’ in 1905. At this time Detmar Blow added to the house. Fragmented remains of the moat are still evident. Since 1971 the house has been an hotel and country club. The grounds are open to guests at the hotel.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Grade II*. Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses was founded in the 19th century and has continued to develop through the 20th century. The site covers about 4 hectares, and includes Tropical, Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid glasshouses, a winter garden and a rock garden, a pinetum, a Japanese garden, and a herb garden. There is also a woodland walk, a fern garden and a lawn aviary. Azaleas and rhododendrons are a feature. Historic gardens typical of the Roman, Medieval and Tudor periods have been planted. Open to the public.
Castle Bromwich Hall, Birmingham
Grade II*. Castle Bromwich Hall has a late-17th-century formal garden and park, covering in total about 19 hectares. The gardens, which are in the process of being restored in the formal style of 1680 to 1740, occupy about 4 hectares. Features include a walled garden, a formal vegetable garden and a holly maze. Open to the public.
1, Castle Hill (formerly Wantage), Kenilworth
Grade II. Is a suburban Arts and Crafts garden for Wantage, a house built in 1901, laid out circa 1901-5 by Herbert Buckland, architect, and Ethie Dennison, owner. Not open to the public
Chadshunt is a landscape park associated with a country house built about 1631, with early 18th and late 19th century additions. The formal garden forecourt was laid out by 1714. The plan has been simplified but features remaining include a fish pond and patte d’oie with coppice.
Charlecote Park, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II*. Charlecote Park originated in the medieval period as a deer park. The present house was begun in 1551, and formal gardens were added in the 17th century. The park was landscaped in 1760 by Lancelot Brown. There were further developments in the 19th and mid-20th centuries. The present site occupies about 105 hectares. Open to the public.
Claverdon Hall, Warwick
There is little recorded history for this hall of which the major portion dates back to the 15th or even 14th century. The Hall and the timber framed house were demolished in 1860. The park is now largely converted to a golf course.
Clifford Manor House, Clifford Chambers, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II. The c 3ha site comprises formal gardens, orchards and pools, and is bounded to the north-east by the River Stour. The gardens were redesigned by Tudor Owen, between 1901-9, and again by Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, c.1920. Not open to the public
Combe Abbey, Coventry
Grade II*. Combe Abbey lies within a 20th-century country park covering about 200 hectares. The site incorporates 17th, 18th and 19th-century park and garden features around 12th-century monastic and later buildings. The park was landscaped in 1771 by Lancelot Brown. Between 1861 and 1865 the gardens were re-designed by William Andrew Nesfield (the west side) and William Miller, the head gardener, who was responsible for the east gardens including the walled kitchen garden, now no longer extant. The house is now a hotel. Open to the public.
Compton Verney, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II*. The site at Compton Verney has medieval origins. The present house was developed by Robert Adam in the 1760s from an early-18th-century house, and at the same time the park was landscaped by Lancelot Brown. After decades of neglect, it is in the process of being restored following its purchase by the Peter Moores Foundation in the 1990s. Open to the public.
Compton Wynyates, Stratford-upon-Avon
Compton Wynyates originated as a medieval moated manor dating to about 1480. By the mid-19th century the site was in ruins until restorations began in about 1835. The ‘best garden’, designed as a topiary garden, was laid out in 1895, and at the same time a water garden was established in the vicinity of the existing moat.
Coughton Court, Alcester
The site originates in the medieval period. Coughton Park, now a wood, lies 2 kilometres to the west. John Davenport undertook improvements in the late 18th century. The extensive grounds include two churches, a lake and a riverside walk. The gardens cover 10 hectares and were recreated in the 1990s to a period design. There is a formal courtyard garden, a walled garden and a bog garden.
Dunchurch Lodge, Rugby
Grade II. Dunchurch Lodge has grounds and gardens occupying about 12 hectares, designed by Thomas H Mawson in the early-20th century to complement the new country house. Not open to the public.
Edgbaston Hall, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Grade II. Only 47 hectares now remain from a late-18th-century landscape park, designed by Lancelot Brown in 1776, which originally covered a larger area. The site is now a golf course, but retains the lake and woodland areas. Not open to the public.
Edstone Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon
Edstone Hall was originally a manor house and associated landscape, dating from at least the 18th century. The original house was demolished in 1930 and replaced in the late 1930s by a house in the free Tudor style, designed by F N B Yorke. The grounds, which now occupy about 9 hectares, include an ornamental lake, a wooded park and a long drive.
Great Alne Hall, Alcester
The site dates from 1878, although the original house was demolished in 1935 and replaced with a smaller dwelling. The original lodge survives. The grounds include specimen trees.
Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick
Grade II. Originally a medieval chantry, the site was developed as a residence from the 16th century. The house and grounds were re-developed from 1822, and a Picturesque landscape laid out along the edge of the River Avon. The house was partly demolished in 1952 and is now in ruins. The property was divided, and the garden is now mostly overgrown. Features included formal gardens and a River Front. The walled kitchen gardens have recently undergone restoration. Limited opening to the public.
Hams Hall, Lea Marston
The Hams Hall estate, home of the Adderley family, may date back to the reign of Henry VIII. It was sold in 1911. The giant Hams Hall power station, built on the site in the 1920s, was demolished in recent years and replaced by industry, distribution and a Channel Tunnel freight terminal. The medieval parish church remains to the north of the site of the hall. There are nature reserves beside the River Tame.
Hill Close Gardens, Warwick
Grade II*. Hill Close Gardens are a group of 27 small hedged plots occupying a 1.25 hectare east-facing site to the south of Linen Street in Warwick. These are Victorian pleasure gardens with lawns, borders and vegetables. Some small brick summerhouses survive. Open to the public.
Honington Hall, Shipston-on-Stour
Grade II*. Honington Hall is an 18th-century landscape park occupying about 80 hectares, with 19th-century developments. The house was built in the early-1680s, and modified in 1751. The gardens cover about 8 hectares, and include topiary hedges. The park covers a further 64 hectares. Open to the public by appointment.
Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa
Jephson Gardens are public gardens, originally established in 1836 as Newbold Gardens. The gardens were laid out between 1846 and 1848 and renamed after Dr Henry Jephson. The site occupies about 6 hectares, and includes lawns, beds, mature trees, a sensory garden and a late-20th century glasshouse with exotic plants. Part/component of: Spa Gardens
Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth
Grade II*. The grounds of the medieval Kenilworth Castle occupy about 120 hectares, and include an early-15th-century pleasaunce, a late-16th-century castle garden, and an artificial lake with shore walks. There is a formal Tudor knot garden within the castle. The garden was laid out by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for the visit of Queen Elizabeth I in 1575. A five-year restoration project to return it to the original design has just been completed (May 2009). Open to the public.
Key Hill Cemetery, Birmingham
Grade II*. Key Hill Cemetery opened in 1836, and closed to new burials in 1980, after which it became overgrown and neglected. The site, which was partly laid out within an old sand quarry, covers about 3 hectares, and includes a group of catacombs. Restoration work is now taking place. Open to the public.
Lady Herbert’s Garden, Coventry
Grade II. Lady Herbert’s Garden is a public garden designed and laid out in the 1930s as a memorial garden to the wife of the Coventry industrialist, Sir Alfred Herbert. It lies near the city’s ancient gates and incorporates part of the medieval city wall. Open to the public.
Little Compton Manor House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Little Compton is an early 17th century manor house with considerable later additions. The garden, which covers 5 hectares, was recently re-landscaped by G. Stewart for the current insitutional use.
London Road Cemetery, Coventry
This is an urban cemetery situated to the south-east of Coventry. It covers some 17 hectares (7 hectares registered). Features include an Italianate lodge and a gates complex, an octagonal gazebo and a promenade. The northern part of the cemetery is laid out as a pleasure ground and contains no burials.
Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick
Grade II. The small Master’s Garden at the Lord Leycester Hospital has occupied the same site since at least the 16th century and probably before. Renovated in the late-20th century, it essentially retains its original structure. It is situated behind the late 15th-century, timber-framed buildings that have served the role of an almshouse since the 16th century. Limited opening to the public.
Merevale Hall, Atherstone
Grade II*. Merevale Hall incorporates parts of a late-17th-century mansion, but was largely refashioned for William Stratford Dugdale to designs by Edward Blore, between 1838 and 1844. The house is set within gardens and a landscape park covering about 185 hectares. Not open to the public.
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Moreton Hall, Leamington Spa
Newnham Paddox , Coventry
Grade II. Newnham Paddox has a mid-18th-century landscape park occupying about 115 hectares, with 19th-century formal gardens of some 20 hectares which are now (late-20th century) largely abandoned. The park was landscaped by Lancelot Brown between 1745 and 1753. A 12 hectare sculpture park was laid out in the early-21st century (since removed). Not open to the public.
Packington Hall, Coventry
Grade II*. Packington Hall has a landscape park with lakes, occupying about 275 hectares, surrounding Packington Hall and Packington Old Hall. The park was landscaped by Lancelot Brown from 1751. The present house dates from the late-17th century with 18th-century alterations. Open only as part of NGS.
Packwood House, Solihull
Grade II*. Packwood House dates from the 16th century, and stands in grounds occupying about 43 hectares. The formal gardens, which date from the mid-17th and early-18th centuries, cover about 2 hectares and feature yew topiary. The gardens are surrounded by 19th-century parkland. Open to the public.
Peace Gardens, Birmingham
St Thomas’ Church forms the focal point of the garden. The church was bombed in 1940 and was never repaired, and stands as a memorial alongside ornate steel gates and railings.
Phillip and Barry Griffiths Garden of Remembrance, Stratford-upon-Avon
This memorial garden has a dedicatory plaque commemorating two brothers killed in World War 2. Philip Griffiths was killed in May 1940 and his brother Barry in August 1945.
Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa
The Pump Room Gardens is one of several public parks in Leamington Spa, linked by a riverside walk along the River Leam. These parks and gardens are known as the Spa Gardens. Surviving historic features include the footpaths and overall layout; bandstand; pedestrian bridge over the River Leam (York Bridge); Royal Pump Room and Baths (now a library, art gallery & museum); and Linden Walk. Part/component of: Spa Gardens
Radway Grange, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II*. The site is a mid-18th-century landscape garden around an 18th-century Gothic revival house, owned and improved by Sanderson Miller. The gardens occupy about 80 hectares (45 hectares registered). Features include woodland with walks and ornamental structures. Not open to the public.
Ragley Hall, Alcester
Grade II*. Ragley Hall is situated within an 18th-century landscape park by Lancelot Brown, covering about 340 hectares. Late-19th-century formal gardens by Robert Marnock lie adjacent to the Hall. Features include formal gardens, a rose garden and a woodland walk. Open to the public.
Shakespeare Gardens, New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II. New Place is the site of a late-medieval house once belonging to William Shakespeare. The house was demolished in the late-18th century. An ornamental garden, partly in the Elizabethan style, was constructed on the site in the 20th century. The garden covers 0.5 hectares, and includes the ‘Knott Garden’ and the ‘Great Garden’ with a long border. Open to the public.
Spa Gardens, Leamington Spa
Grade II. The Spa Gardens in Leamington Spa comprise several gardens and parks linked by a riverside walk, laid out along the River Leam between 1814 and 1903. The gardens include the Pump Room Gardens, Mill Gardens, Victoria Park and Jephson Gardens. Jephson and Mill Gardens together have won a Green Flag and a Green Heritage award. Open to the public.
Stoneleigh Abbey, Kenilworth
Grade II*. Created on the site of a medieval abbey, Stoneleigh has an early-19th-century landscape garden and park, laid out by Humphry Repton, covering about 365 hectares. There are 19th-century formal terraces adjacent to a mainly 18th-century house. Open to the public.
Stoney Road Allotments, Coventry
Stoney Road Allotments are all that remain of several areas of detached town gardens laid out in what was once Cheylesmore Park. They were created in the mid- to late-19th century for ornamental and productive use and function as allotments today (2008).
Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham
Grade II. Sutton Park was originally a medieval hunting park, and became a public park in 1528. It is a natural countryside park, and includes woodlands, heathlands and wetlands. There is a range of leisure facilities including walks, golf courses and a fishing lake. The park occupies about 970 hectares (900 hectares registered). Open to the public.
Vale, The, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Grade II. The Vale at Edgbaston is a university campus laid out in the mid-20th century by the landscape architect, Mary Mitchell, on land that was once part of the Calthorpe estate. The sloping site has an elliptical lake and good views towards Edgbaston Hall and the main university campus. Open to the public.
Upton House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Grade II*. Formal gardens were first laid out at Upton House in the early-18th century, and substantially added to in the 1930s by Morley Horder, architect, and Kitty Lloyd Jones, garden designer, for Lord Bearsted. The gardens occupy an area of about 12 hectares within an 18th-century landscape park of about 80 hectares. The gardens house the National Collection of asters. Open to the public.
War Memorial Park, Coventry
This is a war memorial park, laid out by Coventry City Council between 1921 and 1935, which commemorates Coventry’s soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in both World Wars. Features include a number of avenues of memorial trees, a rock garden and a German Peace Garden dating from 1963.
War Memorial Recreation Ground, Leek Wootton, Leamington Spa
This recreation ground has facilities for both football and cricket. The village hall and sports club are both located on this land.
Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham
Grade II. Warstone Lane Cemetery was opened in 1848 and now closed for burials. It occupies about four hectares, and features a Gothic-style entrance lodge and two-tier catacombs. There is also a Tudor Gothic style gate lodge and a large glacial boulder known as the War-Stone, from which the cemetery takes its name. Open to the public.
Warwick Castle, Warwick
Grade I. The site has an 18th-century park and river landscape around a medieval castle. The grounds occupy about 280 hectares. The gardens were largely remodeled in the 19th and 20th centuries, and feature the Peacock topiary garden, a Victorian rose garden, and a glasshouse. Open to the public.
Winterbourne House and Garden, Birmingham
Grade II. Winterbourne has extensive gardens of 1903 in the Arts and Crafts style created by Margaret Nettlefold. The gardens surround the large, contemporary, house built for Margaret Nettlefold and her husband John, a Birmingham industrialist. Open to the public.
Witton Cemetery, Birmingham
Grade II. Witton Cemetery is laid out in the open park style, and occupies about 40 hectares. The cemetery is enclosed from the surrounding roads by red-brick walls some 2.5 metres high. Features include several entrances, a number of avenues and a war memorial. The Anglican chapel, in gothic style, survives, as does a later Jewish prayer hall. The Roman Catholic and Nonconformist chapels were demolished in around 1980. Open to the public.
Wroxall Abbey, Warwick
Grade II. Originating as a medieval priory, Wroxall Abbey has a park occupying about 115 hectares with late-17th-century formal avenues surviving. The house was at that time the residence of Sir Christopher Wren. The present house is 19th century, surrounded by gardens covering about 11 hectares, which were largely redesigned in the 19th century. Only the 14th century church survives from the priory. Not open to the public.