Hampton Court


Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Hampton Court lies to the south of the A417.
Statutory Address:
Hampton Court, Hope under Dinmore, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0PN


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Statutory Address:
Hampton Court, Hope under Dinmore, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0PN

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Hampton Court lies to the south of the A417.
County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
Hope under Dinmore
National Grid Reference:


The site of extensive C17 formal gardens laid out by George London for Lord Coningsby, Privy Councillor to William III, improved in the C19 by the Arkwright family who commissioned Humphry Repton and Joseph Paxton.

Reasons for Designation

Hampton Court is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: it is a representative example of a late-C17 formal Dutch style garden by George London, a nationally important garden designer, with subsequent phases of development associated with Repton and Paxton, considerably adding to its interest. * Intactness: the extent and overall layout of the garden survives sufficiently intact to reflect its original design, and the archaeological potential of the site, as confirmed by aerial photography, has been retained in most places. * Documentary evidence: the historic development of the layout of the gardens is exceptionally well documented through a number of historic paintings and engravings.


Hampton Court dates back to at least the early C15. In 1434, Sir Rowland Lenthall, a knight in Henry VI's court, was allowed to crenellate, turrellate and embattle his manor at Hampton Rychard and impark 1000 acres of land. In c1510 the manor and its land were sold to Sir Humphrey Coningsby, Justice of the King's Bench, whose family would own Hampton Court until 1810. In c1618 his great-grandson Sir Thomas Coningsby (d. 1625) is known to have developed gardens at Hampton Court. Later, from 1692, Thomas, Lord Coningsby (d. 1729), Privy Councillor to William III of Orange, employed the royal gardener George London (c1614 -1740) to remodel the gardens. These are recorded on a number of paintings and engravings, including John Stevens's painting of c1705, which shows Hampton Court enclosed by a series of formal gardens in the Dutch style. A large formal basin with a central statue of Neptune, created by diverting the course of the River Lugg, terminated the gardens to the south. The Humber Brook, a small stream bounding the east of the site, was transformed into a narrow canal with bridges. Parts of these gardens survived well into the late C18, though had probably been neglected by then. A plan of Hampton Court of 1786 indicates that by that date, the park retained some of the landscape features shown on the late C17 paintings.

In 1781, George Viscount Malden, 5th Earl of Essex inherited the estate. He remodelled Hampton Court in c1790 to designs by the architect James Wyatt. During this period a large double-walled garden was introduced to the north-west of the Court, and Wyatt's partner, the landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818) advised on improvements for the gardens. The extent of his work is unknown: no Red Book drawing has been found. In 1805 the gardens at Hampton Court were described as 'picturesque and beautiful', with a 'good shrubbery, intersected by a pleasant walk' and a 'fine cascade' (Brayley 1805).

In 1810 the estate was purchased by Richard Arkwright Jnr. (1755-1843), the son of Sir Richard Arkwright. He introduced an industrial approach to agriculture, and the by then much reduced deer park to the north was ploughed for the first time. Nevertheless, throughout the C19 the falls and cascades in the Humber Brook, which runs through the deer park, remained an important picturesque feature, attracting many visitors throughout the C19 (Whitehead, 2001). The Arkwrights were also responsible for the improvements to the weirs and mills near the bridge over the River Lugg and built a number of saw- and stone-mills. In 1830-50, Hampton Court was extensively altered by John Arkwright to designs by Charles Hanbury Tracy, a local architect. During this period the gardens were further improved, and in 1846 a conservatory by Joseph Paxton (1803-1865), head gardener at Chatsworth, was added to the south side of the Court.

In 1912 the estate was sold to Major William M Burrell and his wife who, during the First World War, established a military convalescent hospital at Hampton Court. In 1924 the estate was sold again, with most of the land falling into separate ownership. Hampton Court itself was bought by Viscountess Hereford. During the late 1960s the house and grounds deteriorated (the roof to Paxton's conservatory collapsed), and in 1972 the house and 1,936 acres of land were sold and subsequently had a number of successive owners. In 1994 it was bought by Mr and Mrs van Kampen, who restored the house and extensively improved the gardens, and opened them to the public. In 2008 the estate, including the house and garden, was sold to a new owner.


LOCATION, SETTING, LANDFORM, BOUNDARIES, AREA The site covers an area of 31 ha and is situated in a rural location south of the A417 at Hope under Dinmore, the road forming its current boundary. Its setting includes the land to the north of the road. This is the site of the former deer park which, during the C17, was laid out with a number of formal avenues and rides. Although some mature parkland trees survive in places, it has been partly built over by industrial units, and the majority of the remaining parkland has been ploughed since the early C19. The site's boundary to the south and west is formed by the River Lugg and to the east by a narrow stream, the Humber Brook. The north-east corner of the site is bounded by Hampton Green Farm and by the buildings of a former Saw Mill, now ruinous. Dinmore Hill situated to the south of the site, has been covered in dense woodland (Church Coppice and Ashen Grove) since the C19, and its steep northern slope forms a dramatic backdrop to the garden.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The entrance to the site lies to the north along the A417. It is marked by a gatehouse with circular castellated towers introduced in 1997. From here an avenue, planted in the late 1990s, leads to a small bridge over a ha ha both introduced in the late 1990s, to a turning circle at the north front of Hampton Court. At the start of the avenue (at the north), a branch runs off, curving in a south-westerly direction to the visitor car park north-west of Hampton Court and the walled gardens, before continuing to Hampton Green Farm.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Hampton Court (listed at Grade I), stands just off-centre in the eastern half of the garden. It is built in sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings and has castellated parapets. Its quadrangular plan reflects the original C15 layout, with a later service range to the west, also with a quadrangular plan thus creating two courtyards. Extending from the latter's north-west corner is Hampton Court Estate Cottages, including former stables and servants' quarters largely of C19 date.

The north front of Hampton Court consists of 1:3:1:3:1 bays composed of a large central gatehouse with flanking three-bay ranges terminating in small square towers. The windows are cusped lancets with either square heads with hoodmoulds or four centre arches. The C15 chapel adjoins the east end of the north elevation. The south elevation, largely remodelled in the C18, includes Paxton's conservatory of 1846. It is built against the south elevation of the service range to the west. The tall single storey building, built in matching stone ashlar, has a rectangular plan. Its walls consist of a continuous row of full-height four-light lancet windows with a castellated parapet above. After the loss of its roof in the 1970s, it was converted into an indoor swimming pool in the 1980s. In 1997 it became a cafe.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The gardens at Hampton Court lie to the south, east and west of the house and to the south and west are separated from the park by a late C18 or early C19 dry-stone ha ha. The ha ha to the north of Hampton Court dates from the late 1990s (see above under ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES). The East Lawn has a double avenue planted in the late 1990s. The South and West Lawn have a number of single mature trees dating from the late C18 and/or early C19, including pines and Cedars of Lebanon, which are marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500 published in 1889. The West Lawn is bounded to the north by a mature topiary hedge which screens a mixed border laid out along the full length of the garden wall.

PARK The current park lies to the north, south and south-west of Hampton Court, separated from the gardens by a ha ha (see above). The parkland to the north of Hampton Court (south of the A417), is scattered with mature trees, with the A417 road screened by a narrow tree belt. In its north-east corner is a crescent shaped lake created in the late 1990s from a much smaller, triangular shaped lake shown on the OS map of 1889. The park to the south and south-west of Hampton Court contains a number of mature oak trees, probably dating from the late C18 or early C19. A track runs through the southern park from the ha ha to a late C20 bridge, replacing an earlier bridge called Lawn Bridge. It crosses the River Lugg giving access to Dinmore Hill. Set into the ha ha, circa 9m to the south-west of the house, is a brick-arched structure. This may be the entrance to a former ice house, although no evidence for this could be found. The parkland to the south of Hampton Court, bounded by the River Lugg, is probably the site of the formal basin that formed part of the C17 gardens. This area has been liable to flooding at least since the late C19.

KITCHEN GARDEN The former kitchen garden consists of a large double walled garden covering an area of 2.4 ha. It stands within the garden immediately to the north-west of the house. Its walls are 2.5m in height and constructed in brick with flat stone coping with the main entrance in the south wall. Outside the walled garden, at the north-west corner, stands a two-storey head-gardener's house. Built against the exterior of the north garden wall is a row of small gardeners' cottages and potting sheds. In the far north-west corner of the garden stands a group of green houses, probably dating from the early C20: two are free standing (by Messenger & Co) and two are built as lean-tos. The walled gardens were first introduced by Viscount Malden in the late C18, and further improved in the C19 by the Arkwright family. The formal water garden with two pavilions in the southern garden, and the maze with castellated tower west of the walled gardens, were introduced in the late 1990s.


Books and journals
Beale, C, Hampton Court, (2000)
Beale, C, Champagne and Shambles: The Arkwrights and the Downfall of the Landed Aristocracy, (2006)
Brayley, E W, A Topographical and Historical Description of the County of Hereford , (1805)
Ray, D, Bibliography of British Gardens, (1984), 142
Whitehead, D, Patton, J, A Survey of Historic Parks and Gardens in Herefordshire, (2001), 188-190
'Country Life' in Country Homes Gardens Old & New Hampton Court, Leominster, the seat of Mr J H Arkwright, (29 June 2001)
Beale, C, 'Garden History' in A Forgotten Greenhouse by Joseph Paxton: The Conservatory at Hampton Court, Herefordshire, (2002)
Cornforth, J, 'Country Life' in Hampton Court, Herefordshire, (22 Feb 1973, 1 March 1973, 8 March 1973), 450-453, 518-521, 582-585
Coningsby, Sir Thomas (1550-1625), accessed from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6075
Coningsby, Thomas, first earl of Coningsby (1657-1729), accessed from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6076
London, George (d.1714), accessed from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/artcile/37686
Talman, William (bap. 1650, d. 1719), accessed from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/26956
Wyatt, James (1746-1813), accessed from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30105
A Country House Portrayed, Hampton Court, Sabin Galleries 1973,
A Plan of the Gardens at Hampton Court Herefordshire as formerly existing, published in The Builder on 29 November 1902.,
Aerial Photographs of Hampton Court, c 2000 supplied by Herefordshire Council,


This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.

End of official listing

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