Walled kitchen gardens in West Oxfordshire

Shipton Court

Shipton Court is in the village of Shipton-under-Wychwood. It was built circa 1603 by the Lacey family and was occupied by them until 1663 when it was purchased by Sir Compton Reade. It remained in this family until 1868 when, on the death of Sir John Reade, it was left to his footman Joseph Wakefield, on condition that he took the name Reade. Subsequently, the estate was purchased from Joseph Reade by W F Pepper in 1900. Pepper undertook significant restorations and alterations including the addition of a billiard room and Winter Garden, using the architects Perkins and Bulmer.

The estate was sold in 1913 and sold on in 1919, when more work on the grounds was undertaken. The house went through a number of owners until, in 1947, the estate was split and sold by auction. The Dower House in the south east corner of the site formed one lot and the field to the east of Trot's Brook another. The house and grounds were bought by Mrs Arathoon in 1948 and remained in the family until 1977 when the house was divided into apartments.

The 1st ed. OS map survey in 1880 and published in 1881 shows the garden as rectangular and sunken with a perimeter path, trees and a semi-wildnerness. The garden is directly south of the house, with a wall edging the west and south sides of the garden, buildings to the west, possibly stables, on the west side of the wall. Plum Lane edges the south wall and to the east there is  a raised walkway with a long terrace garden and two water features.

Currently, the west and south wall remain in a garden which is largely laid to lawn and with a small vegetable patch. The house is now divided into apartments and the garden is equally divided, although some parts may be communal. It was completely re-designed in the 1920s and became a sunken rose garden, adjacent to the terraced garden with two ponds to the east, one of which was a swimming pool.

Designation status
Shipton Court is included in the Historic England Register of Historic Parks and Gardens at Grade II. Further information is available in the National Heritage List for England.