Coleorton Hall, Leicestershire

Historic Landscape Restoration Plan and Expert Landscape Witness at Planning Inquiry

Coleorton Hall in Leicestershire is an early 19th century country house designed by George Dance the Younger for Sir George Beaumont, one of the foremost patrons of the arts of the period and one of the founders of the National Gallery. The gardens are registered Grade II* and were designed by Beaumont with input from William & Dorothy Wordsworth, Sir Uvedale Price and William Sawrey Gilpin. In addition to this design input, the gardens provided artistic inspiration to many of Beaumont’s friends of the time including Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott and John Constable.

Having survived largely intact until the mid 20th century – the site was taken over and developed as the regional headquarters of the National Coal Board in 1949. The NCB constructed an extensive range of offices together with large areas of car parking within the central part of gardens and much of the remaining historic landscape became neglected.

We were commissioned to carry out a detailed survey of the historic landscape. In addition, we carried out an assessment of the feasibility of a restoration scheme funded by a limited amount of enabling development within a reconstructed walled garden. We developed and costed an scheme to enhance, repair and renew the grounds – a particular focus being the restoration of areas where the NCB offices were to be removed.

We prepared and delivered expert landscape evidence at two subsequent planning inquiries. Once permission had been secured we prepared a more thorough restoration management plan for the approval of the LPA. We were subsequently commission by the new owners of the site to prepare the detailed hard and soft landscape proposals for the scheme. We arranged procurement, coordinated and managed landscape contractors implementing this work over a period of three years.