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Queen Anne's Summerhouse Old Warden

Queen Annes Summerhouse about 1900
Queen Annes Summerhouse about 1900 [Z50/129/97]

In 1872 Old Warden Park was sold by Robert, 3rd Baron Ongley by private contract to Joseph Shuttleworth. The sale catalogue of the time [X65/61] gave a detailed description of the grounds around Queen Anne's Summerhouse as follows:

The Park is intersected by A SERIES OF FINE FISH PONDS more than Half a Mile in length, fed by a never-failing Stream, and crossed near the centre by a Bridge and Carriage Drive from the Northern Entrance. On the opposite side of the Park is THE WARREN, a fine Preserve, having an eminence in the centre, upon which stands A QUADRILATERAL SUMMER HOUSE WITH ANGLE TOWERS, built of red brick, surmounted by a balustrade and enclosed iron fencing; the lower part forms a KEEPER'S LODGE, and there is a large Cellar in the basement.

From this point diverge Five Avenues, two of which are flanked with Spruce Firs of luxuriant growth, the others with Oak, Elm, and Scotch Fir, and opening up splendid views of the rich and lovely scenery of this highly cultivated and well-wooded locality, one of which extends into the County of Huntingdon, with the spire of Colmworth Church in the distance.

The Summerhouse was listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II, of special interest and was described as: "Isolated house, probably a hunting lodge". The exterior has Shuttleworth plaques with a date in the mid 1870s (rather eroded) which is, presumably, when repairs or alterations were undertaken. It is built of gauged red brick with artificial stone dressings. The south-west staircase inside has evidence of a staircase formerly ascending to the flat roof and the south-east turret has a plain fireplace.

In 1927 Old Warden was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the summerhouse [DV1/A24/22] described it as a: "Shooting lodge...does not appear to be used at all...v.Big".