A C18 grotto situated below the south terrace at Crowe Hall.
Reason for Listing
* Architectural interest: as an interesting example of a C18 garden feature that is well-executed in open-textured stonework.
* Group value: with both the Grade II listed Crowe Hall and the Grade II Registered Park and Garden within which the grotto sits.
Characteristic rustic garden embellishment, executed in open-textured stonework, and possibly from the time of the original house of 1742. Ralph Allen was exploring the picturesque possibilities of tufa stone at just this time on his neighbouring estate. The main chamber is not known to have been roofed within living memory, but was very likely thus.
Grotto. Mid- to late C18.
MATERIALS: Tufa and limestone.
PLAN: Complex grotto in three parts, at highest level path passes under two rough arches joined by rough vault, and this in turn carries path over.
EXTERIOR: Flight of thirteen stone steps descends to main chamber, entering under a rough arch with tree-trunk props, embellished with artificial ‘twigs’. Main chamber is circular, and may originally have had rough domed vault, but open to sky. Opposite the foot of the stairs are three rough arched openings in wall, and to right arched entry opposite which rough arch leads to enclosed lower chamber, down three steps, with niche to each side, and exit to south, lower unit completely vaulted.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.