A large rectangular enclosure of red brick walls, laid in random bond, which was formerly two enclosures.
Reason for Listing
The walls and attached buildings of the walled garden c. 220 metres west-north-west of Belmont House are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: a good example of a C18 garden walls and walled garden, developed in the C19 and retaining the brick structure of the glasshouse and the glass shield for soft fruits show the adaptation of the space to evolving practices in gardens in the Victorian period;
* Historic interest: the walls reflect the history of the estate in the C18 when it was owned by John Matthews, a friend of Richard Uvedale Price, who built his house and laid out the park to take advantage of the Picturesque potential of this riverside setting;
* Group value: the walls form part of the context for Belmont House (Grade II*), a country house designed by James Wyatt. They also form an ensemble with the commemorative stone which records the oak sapling from Foxley (Grade II) and the group of ancillary buildings, including the converted conservatory and bothy, boiler house and glass house, grouped along the north wall;
* Intactness: the loss of the middle portion of the wall which divides the west and east compartments and the forming of a gateway in the north-west corner are relatively minor alterations within the overall context and the walls survive as a nearly-complete circuit at their full height.
The walls appear to be of C18 date, most probably dating from 1788-1790 when the new house of Belmont was built for John Matthews, to the designs of James Wyatt. The thicker stonework, which forms the lower walling to three sides of the western enclosure, appears to be earlier and may date from the previous house on the site called Old Hill.
Walled garden of c.1788-90.
A large rectangular enclosure of red brick walls, laid in random bond, which was formerly two enclosures. The dividing wall to the west of centre, has been partly demolished to allow views between the two areas. The overall dimensions are 98 metres east-west by 53 metres north-south, the smaller compartment occupying the 25 westernmost metres.
There are flat coping stones to the tops of all of the walls. The smaller, western enclosure has walling of stone rubble to its lower body on the north, south and west sides, which rises to between 1.5 and 2 metres in height. Above this is brickwork which extends upwards to c.5 metres in height.
The eastern enclosure has pilaster buttresses to the outer face of all its walls. To the centre of the south face of the north wall is a three-bay building of two storeys. This has openings with cambered heads which appear to have originally been the tall windows of a glass house for conserving exotic plants such as orange trees in tubs, but which have now been partially filed with brickwork to create a central doorway with three-light casements to either side. At first floor level there is a central, circular opening, perhaps formerly a pitching eye, which is now blocked, with two-light casements at either side. To the right of this central feature are the remains of a former lean-to glass house which had a heated north wall and faced south. The vault of the boiler house can be seen to centre of the lower, rear wall and the low front wall is still in situ, with a series of segmental openings in its brickwork. None of the timber superstructure survives. To the right of this, and extending until the north-eastern corner, there is a glazed lean-to covering at the top of the wall which is supported by brackets. It appears to have been intended to protect soft fruit from bruising by heavy rain or hail.
There is a single pedestrian doorway to the centre of the eastern wall, three doorways to the south wall and one to the northern wall, all of which have cambered heads. Drive gates which lead to a modern house in the west garden break the north wall at its west end.
In the centre of the eastern garden is a house built in the later-C20 which does not form part of this assessment. The wall which runs north-south, and which formerly divided the two gardens has been demolished at its centre and the lateral portions of walling have been ramped with concrete balusters of vase shape and a flight of stairs inserted at the centre, to allow views from the house over both parts of the enclosure. Lean-to machinery stores were added to the outer (northern) side of the north wall in the mid-C20 at its centre.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.