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Great Badminton Conservation Area

Introduction

A conservation area is an area of ‘special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Once designated, the local planning authority has a statutory duty to ensure that any proposed development will preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area and its setting.

Great Badminton was designated a conservation area on the 30 July 1975. A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) appraisal leaflet was published following the conservation areas designation. This document is not a review of such, but sets out the information as produced in an accessible format supported by current policy context, pictures and mapping.

Policy context

Local authorities have had the ability to designate locations of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ as conservation areas since 1967 when introduced as part of the Civic Amenities Act. Section 69 (2) of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation) Act 1990 legislates that authorities are to carry out reviews of existing conservation areas from ‘time to time’. Section 72 also states that ‘special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area’. Guidance on conservation area appraisals and the management of conservation areas is produced by Heritage England.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out national planning policy and must be taken into account in the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans, and is a material consideration in planning decisions. The NPPF defines conservation areas as ‘Heritage Assets’ and sets out in Para 126 that local authorities should ‘recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and should conserve them in a manner appropriate to their significance’. Para 127 states that when designating conservation areas local planning authorities should ensure the area justifies this status because of its special architectural or historic interest.

South Gloucestershire has 31 conservation areas, and there are a number of policies within the councils Local Plan documents that are relevant. South Gloucestershire Local Plan 2006 saved policy L12 requires development within or affecting the conservation area to preserve or enhance its character or appearance. Further to this policy L13 states that development affecting the setting of a Listed Building will not be permitted unless ‘the building and its setting would be preserved’. South Gloucestershire Core Strategy 2006-2027 sets out in CS9 that the ‘natural and historic environment is a finite and irreplaceable resource’, and expects that new development will conserve, respect and enhance heritage assets.

The emerging Polices, Sites and Places (PSP) Plan policy PSP18 states that development should ‘serve to protect, and where appropriate, enhance or better reveal the significance of heritage assets and their setting’ and ‘development within their [listed buildings] setting will be expected to preserve and, where appropriate enhance…their special architectural or historic interest’. It should be noted the PSP Plan is currently a material consideration and at this time very limited weight is given to policies.

Setting

The village of Great Badminton enjoys a picturesque setting situated on the high Cotswolds approximately six miles east of Chipping Sodbury. Badminton House (grade I Listed), the home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort, is visible in the distance from the approach roads across the Cotswold plateau (see figures 1 and 2). The village is famous for the annual horse trials organised by the estate.

Photo showing Figure 1. View southwards over Cotswolds Plateau to Badminton house
Figure 1. View southwards over Cotswolds Plateau to Badminton House
Photo showing Figure 2. View north towards Great Badminton from Station Road
Figure 2. View north towards Great Badminton from Station Road

The village is located within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Badminton Deer Park is listed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

History

Badminton House is an impressive Palladian mansion. It was built for Henry, Third Marquess of Worcester and First Duke of Beaufort in 1682, the original house being the central block and wings on each side. The rest of the house including pediment and cupolas is mainly of the early 18th century and is chiefly the work of William Kent. The house is not open to the public.

Kent was a leading figure in Palladian movement and also designed the magnificent Worcester Lodge at the end of the three-mile ride from north entrance to the house. It is a superb park building containing a Palladian dining room over the archway. The castellated farm buildings were designed by Kent’s successor, Thomas Wright.

Kent was also an innovator in landscape gardening organising the Great Park to provide a visual setting and pleasing vistas from the house. The park dates from the 13th century and was used for hunting and raising horses. Until the 18th century, deer and horses were the main quarry. The Badminton Hunt is credited with starting the fashion for fox hunting and breeding special staghounds and harriers in about 1760. Numerous buildings and follies such as the hermitage were built by Kent to add extra interest. The landscaping was later extended by “Capability” Brown in the late 18th century.

Great Badminton is an estate village which contains a wealth of historic buildings, many of which are listed in their own right. The wide High Street is lined with estate houses (see figure 3).

Photo showing Figure 3. View west down the High Street
Figure 3. View west down the High Street

The fine row of almshouses (grade II* Listed) date from about 1714 and were founded by the First Duchess for retired servants. They bear the Beaufort badge in triplicate, the badge being a feature elsewhere in the village (see figures 4 and 5). Essex House (grade II* Listed) located at the village entrance to Badminton House dates from the early 18th century (see figure 6).

Photo of almshouses
Photo of almshouses
Figures 4 and 5. Almshouses
The church of St Michael and All Angels (grade I Listed), attached to the house was built as a simple rectangle with tower in 1785, replacing the medieval church. The chancel and apse were added in 1875.
Photo showing Figure 6. Essex House
Figure 6. Essex House
Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey map Great Badminton
Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey map Great Badminton
Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey map Great Badminton

Character

The High Street leading to Badminton House forms a wide avenue, the stone walls being a particular feature (see figures 7 to 12). Unbroken facades couples with the height of the buildings create a sense of enclosure. The street is visually and physically enclosed at each end by banks of trees. At the eastern end the grassed turning circle flanked by the ‘Old Portcullis’ and Essex House provides a frame for the gates leading into the formal Parkland (see figures 13 and 14). This also marks the end of the ‘public’ area.

A stone wall on High Street
Photo showing Stone walls surrounding the High Street
Photo showing Stone walls surrounding the High Street
Photo showing Stone walls surrounding the High Street
Photo showing Stone walls surrounding the High Street
Photo showing Stone walls surrounding the High Street
Figures 7 to 12. Stone walls surrounding the High Street
Photo showing Turning circle and gates to parkland
Photo showing Turning circle and gates to parkland
Figures 13 and 14. Turning circle and gates to parkland
To the western end of the High Street The Old Vicarage (Grade II Listed, see figure 15) and The Cottage (Grade II Listed, see figure 16) form an impressive gateway into the village and further add to the sense of enclosure from High Street. Pump Cottages (Grade II Listed) on the opposite corner are a particularly attractive feature with their recently restored stone tiled roofs and decorative timber detailing.
Photo showing The Old Vicarage
Figure 15. The Old Vicarage
Photo showing The Cottage and gateway to Kennel Drive
Figure 16. The Cottage and gateway to Kennel Drive
North of the village the distinctive farm buildings and stables (Grade II* Listed) contrast with the scale of Badminton House. The backdrop of trees to the north form a visual boundary to the built area (see figure 17 to 20).
Photo showing Farm buildings and backdrop of trees to the North of the Village
Photo showing Farm buildings and backdrop of trees to the North of the Village
Photo showing Farm buildings and backdrop of trees to the North of the Village

Photo showing Farm buildings and backdrop of trees to the North of the Village

Figures 17 to 20. Farm buildings and backdrop of trees to the north of the village

To the south of the village there are a number of late 18th and 19th century houses and several thatched cottage ornees, many of which are listed (see figures 21 and 22).
Photo showing Cottages to the South of the village
Photo showing Cottages to the South of the village
Figures 21 and 22. Cottages to the south of the village
Rustic verandas and diamond window panes (see figures 22 to 26) further add to the charm and individuality of the village. The use of local materials such as Cotswold stone and stone tiles enhances the character of the village (see figures 27 to 31), which together with the local vernacular architecture creates a harmonious built form within this high open landscape.
Photo showing Examples of diamond window panes in Great Badminton
Photo showing Examples of diamond window panes in Great Badminton
Photo showing Examples of diamond window panes in Great Badminton
Photo showing Examples of diamond window panes in Great Badminton

Photo showing Examples of diamond window panes in Great Badminton

Figures 22 to 26. Examples of diamond window panes in Great Badminton

Photo showing Examples of Cotswold stone and stone tiles in Great BadmintonPhoto showing Examples of Cotswold stone and stone tiles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Examples of Cotswold stone and stone tiles in Great BadmintonPhoto showing Examples of Cotswold stone and stone tiles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Examples of Cotswold stone and stone tiles in Great Badminton
Figures 27 to 31. Examples of Cotswold stone and stone tiles in Great Badminton

Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton

Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton

Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton

Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton
Photo showing Various building styles in Great Badminton
Various building styles in Great Badminton

Summary map

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Contacts

The council is keen to work with the local community and other parties to help preserve and enhance this special area. If you wish to assist in any manner or have any further suggestions, please let us know.

For further information or advice please contact:

Conservation Officer
Strategic Planning Policy and Specialist Advice Team
South Gloucestershire Council
PO Box 2081
Bristol
BS35 9BP

Telephone: 01454 863578
Email: conservation@southglos.gov.uk