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Stone and Plaque About 200 Yards West-North-West of Belmont House

A Grade II Listed Building in Belmont Rural, County of Herefordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.045 / 52°2'42"N

Longitude: -2.7671 / 2°46'1"W

OS Eastings: 347485

OS Northings: 238794

OS Grid: SO474387

Mapcode National: GBR FJ.F679

Mapcode Global: VH785.ZVHN

Entry Name: Stone and Plaque About 200 Yards West-North-West of Belmont House

Listing Date: 22 October 1986

Last Amended: 17 December 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1099702

English Heritage Legacy ID: 155347

Location: Belmont Rural, County of Herefordshire, HR2

County: County of Herefordshire

Civil Parish: Belmont Rural

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Clehonger

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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Eaton Bishop

Summary

A sandstone rock with inset metal plaque which was carved and placed in 1813.

Description

A sandstone rock with inset metal plaque which was manufactured and set in place in 1813. The boulder has been left in its raw state to the majority of its surface, but a recessed rectangular panel has been carved in the eastern face to receive a cast iron plaque, which bears the following wording in raised lettering:

THE ACORN FROM WHICH / THIS OAK SPRANG / WAS SOWN AT / FOXLEY / AD / 1773 / THE SAPLING WAS PLANTED AT / BELMONT / BY / JOHN MATTHEWS ESQ / AD / 1788 / IT MEASURED FIVE FEET / SIX INCHES / IN / CIRCUMFERENCE / AD / 1813.

There is now no oak tree standing near to the boulder and plaque, but there are two headstones for dog graves c. 5 metres to the north.

History

The Old Hill estate was bought by John Matthews in 1788 and he immediately employed James Wyatt to build a new house for him. At the same time he started to lay out the landscape. He is later believed to have employed Humphry Repton to help with designs in the 1790s, but this plaque shows that Matthews was making alterations to his park from the start and that he was on cordial terms with a neighbour who was to become a noted commentator on landscaping.

Foxley was the estate of the Herefordshire land owner Sir Uvedale Price (1747-1829). He published his ‘Essay on the Picturesque, As Compared With The Sublime and The Beautiful’ in 1794, and this, together with a poem 'The Landscape' published by another neighbour, Sir Richard Payne Knight, in the same year, had a profound effect upon the perception of natural scenery in England.

Reasons for Listing

The Stone and Plaque about 200 yards west-north-west of Belmont House are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic Interest: the stone and plaque 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 stone and plaque form part of the context for Belmont House, a country house designed by James Wyatt, which forms the core of the present house. They also form an ensemble with the walled garden and its ancillary buildings.

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