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Site Details

NPRN 266046

Map Reference ST38NE

Grid Reference ST3732588296

Unitary (Local) Authority Newport

Old County Monmouthshire

Community Llanwern



Period Post Medieval

Site Description 1. Parklands & Gardens of Wales No:PGW.GT2
A small picturesque park in rolling countryside to the E of Llanwern village, almost wholly given over to pasture. The main entrance is on the E side, from the village, with a winding drive curving up the hill in the centre of the park, to the house (now demolished) at the top. Curving stone walls on either side of the original entrance to the house survive, with a modern bungalow to their west. There are fragmentary remains of farm and outbuildings to the NE of the house site, which is a rubble platform.

The park is landscaped with clumps of trees, some deciduous, some mixed deciduous and coniferous, mainly in the SE quadrant. The park is compact, bounded on the N and W sides by a natural stream, the Monks' Ditch, on the E by Great Wood and Longditch Wood, and on the S by the road from Llanwern to Bishton. There was a large walled kitchen garden to the S of the entrance to the park, next to Monks' Ditch, but this has completely disappeared, and its site is now level pasture. To its NE, next to Monks' Ditch, is an underground ice-house, which is well preserved. There are no other built features in the park.

This is an ancient estate, bought by Lewis Van in about l630. Llanwern House, probably the second house to be built on the site (the first probably late l7th century in date), was built for Charles Van in about l760, and the estate passed to Sir Robert Salusbury of Cotton Hall, Clwyd, on his marriage to the Van heiress in l780. The park would have been landscaped either for Charles Van or Sir Robert Salusbury in the late l8th century. An estate map of 1818 by David Davies shows the present layout, with a 'Plantation' to the NE of the house, just N of the drive - a shrubbery with winding paths.

At the end of the drive, where it now enters the farmyard, but formerly entered the courtyard of the house, curving stone walls flank the entrance. These are c. 2 m. high, of dressed stone, with a plinth and cornice. Decorative ironwork gate piers and scrolls on top of the walls survive, but are derelict and not used. There is a modern field gate across the entrance.

As well as the gate piers mentioned above, there are two ironwork gate piers flanking the drive at the ends of the bridge over Monks' Ditch, at ST 370883). There is some iron fencing N of the outer gate to the drive, and some along the park boundary to the S.

In N and W parts of the park a few scattered individual trees, mainly deciduous. To the S of the house site, on the ridge at the southern end of the park, is a small deciduous wood (marked (a) on the map).
The S end of the park, to the E of wood (a), has more individual trees and clumps, in particular the clumps of large mature deciduous trees marked (l), (2) and (3) on the map.

2. This garden is depicted on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25-inch map of Monmouthshire XXIX, sheet 15 (1901). Its main elements on that map include parterres, contrived antiquity, bridge, carriage drive, isolated geometric copses, greenhouses, walk, orchard, icehouse, parkland, smithy, kitchen garden, terrace, walled garden and woodland.
C.S.Briggs 18.05.06

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