Cusworth Park and Gardens Preservation

Leaving a legacy with restoration of cultural heritage features.

Cusworth Park and Gardens were landscaped in 1761-1765 providing the setting for the Grade II listed Cusworth Hall Park. The wooded section of the park is separate from the main estate by the A1(M) and is owned by Highways England, only accessible via private land. 800m of boundary walling needed extensive repair, long stretches were fully or partially collapsed. Displaced stone was hidden and buried in vegetation making it difficult to assess how much was salvageable. The soft estate also contains an earth mound designated as a Scheduled Monument, thought to be formerly the motte of an 11th century castle.

We carried out a detailed survey in accordance with Historic England’s good practice guidelines, the scope of works included:

  • Vegetation clearance on the castle motte, ha-ha and boundary walls*
  • Repairs to the ha-ha wall and rebuilding of any collapsed section
  • Reinstating the walls as far as possible using existing stone to ensure consistency and reduce carbon footprint

 Wall sections were numbered using an innovative technique of overlaying satellite images on historical map data; the wall was carefully rebuilt using the same materials and bonding patterns as the original.

The project also presented an opportunity to offer valuable training to two sixteen-year old general operatives teaching them valuable techniques to sustain future specialist work.

*A ‘ha-ha’ wall is a sunken boundary wall built to keep livestock out of the garden while providing a clear view of the estate.