MSO7709 - Nettlecombe Park (Monument)


Pleasure grounds and landscape park to Nettlecombe Court, laid out during the mid to late 18th Century. It comprises lawns, walled garden, a dovecote and an old stone quarry planted as a garden.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (6)

Protected Status

Full Description

ST 0560 3780 National Grid Reference [1,2] The gardens at Nettlecombe Court comprises lawns and an old stone quarry planted as a garden. Walled gardens are present to the north of the house, dovecote also present. In 1842 the grounds were noted for fine lawns, beautiful pleasure grounds, rock and water gardens. HBMC listed II garden. [1] The deer parks at Nettlecombe were documented during the late 16th Century. Landscaping had taken place by 1787 and extensions in 1755 and 1792. In 1792 Thomas Veitch had provided estimates for landscaping, the designs had been implemented by 1796. Further improvements were made from circa 1828 and included the laying out of the pleasure grounds. [3] The parkland was assessed in a Parkland Plan dating to 2003. In 1782 Thomas Veitch of Exeter supplied estimates for landscaping the Great Park and South Park, work that was to be implemented in 1792. As part of this landscaping, the village of Nettlecombe was removed from south of Nettlecombe Court and church. The park was first depicted on a coloured Estate plan in 1796, which records the 1755 expansion, showing extensive parkland to the south and southwest of the Court, including Park Wood. The park mainly took the form of grass and a limited number of parkland trees sweeping down to the Court, in the style of Brown. It included a great pond with cascade, several lower ponds, a turning circle (which mostly appears to have survived), a walled kitchen garden north of the Court (since replaced, with one wall remaining) and stable block. [8] An update was undertaken for the Parkland Plan published in 2003 (see [6]). This included newly incorporated historic mapping and documentary evidence and research and restoration work on the landscape, as well as the results of a walkover survey undertaken in April 2015. The 16th Century deer park was extended and modified to create a Georgian landscape park from the mid 1700s, with landscaping by John Veitch of Exeter in the 1790s. In 1734, Sir John Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, obtained permission to enclose part of a highway to Nettlecombe church and provide an alternative route. This may be related to the creation or extension of the Great Park. It seems highly likely that a park had already been established to the south before 1744, when it is mentioned in a survey. This is borne out by the environmental evidence on the site. It had definitely been created by 1755, when Sir John Trevelyan died and left Nettlecombe, heavily protected by Trustees, to his son Sir George Trevelyan, 3rd Baronet (1707-1768). Great Park lay to the south of the Court and contained Park Wood and the adjoining land. There is evidence that there existed a large block of ancient wood pasture significantly prior to the creation of the Great Park c. 1734. There were exchanges of glebeland associated with the Parish of Nettlecombe in 1790, 1797, 1838 and 1866, largely in order to progressively increase the size of the park. In 1792, John Veitch of Exeter supplied estimates for landscaping the Great Park and South Park, work which was to be implemented that year . The changes at Nettlecombe highlight a transition between the historic and social functions of the parkland, to rear stock, produce venison, and provide timber for construction, and the landscape park, designed for aesthetic reasons to provide a setting for a country house. Veitch also estimated to ‘make a sunk fence… [387 metres in length]... so as to make a proper fence for deer on one side and cattle on the other when a railing is put on the higher side of the sunk fence.’ The ditch still remains around parts of the northern and western boundaries of South Park, although the fence has disappeared. An engraving by J Bonnor depicted a long view of the Court and church from the south, situated in extensive open parkland, set against a backdrop distant countryside and the Bristol Channel. As shown on the 1796 estate plan, the Court and Church are associated with virtually no planting and appear to be stylistically bleak and exposed in the valley, and there are pronounced small clumps of trees within the Park. An old parkland tree in the foreground is characteristic of the picturesque. The 1796 Estate Plan records parkland on every side of the Court, with a small structure southwest of the Court, possibly a seat. A ride curved gently to the southwest corner of the park through the trees of Park Wood, to the upper pond with its cascade. N.B. The mapping of this monument record has been updated to reflect the information given in Figure 3 of the Parkland Plan. [9,10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Monograph: English Heritage. 1984-. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. English Heritage. Somerset, Part 37.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1976. 1:10000 Map, 1976. 1:10000.
  • <3> Monograph: English Heritage. 1984-. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. English Heritage. Part 37; revised 24 August 2004.
  • <4> Serial: Country Life.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Gardeners' Magazine, 1842, p18.
  • <6> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books.
  • <7> Report: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 1992. Nettlecombe Park and Pleasure Grounds: Historic survey and restoration plan. 9-11.
  • <8> Report: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 2003. Nettlecombe Park and Pleasure Grounds: Historic survey and restoration plan.
  • <9> Report: Unknown. 2016. Nettlecombe Parkland Plan. Nicholas Pearson Partnership LLP.
  • <10> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 18 April 2017.
  • <11> Collection: Corbett, S. et al. 1908-1970. Volume: Nettlecombe Court, Nettlecombe.
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 620306, Updated 28 May 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Listed Building List Entry UID: 264792
  • Listed Building List Entry UID: 264793
  • Listed Building List Entry UID: 264794
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NE72
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 620306



Grid reference Centred ST 0553 3764 (1785m by 2158m)
Map sheet ST03NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

May 28 2022 9:41PM


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