Special places impacted by HS2

Hardwick Hall viewed from the herb garden

As the proposed route for HS2 travels up the country there are 13 of our special places which we are particularly concerned about. Here we look at each of these places and what the impact of HS2 could be for them.

Phase 1 London to West Midlands:

Hartwell House

A Grade I listed building with Grade II* gardens and parkland located just outside Aylesbury.  The line of HS2 will pass through the parkland and close to the house. This will result in a disruption to the peace and tranquillity of this special place as well as fragmenting this historic landscape.  We are working to ensure the intrusion will be mitigated in the best possible way to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy Hartwell House and its grounds.

Waddesdon Manor

A French Renaissance-style chateau built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874. It is surrounded by views across Oxfordshire, the Chilterns and the Vale of Aylesbury.  Waddesdon’s Grand Lodge, which sits on the edge of the parkland and is the only outward facing building designed by the architect of the Manor, will be impacted by the construction of HS2 and resultant realignment of the A41. We are concerned that the Grand Lodge will lose its purpose as a signpost for Waddesdon Manor and so are working to ensure that the Grand Lodge retains its heritage significance, while also reducing light intrusion from the HS2 and roads crossing it.

Claydon House

Constructed in the 1750s by Ralph Verney, Claydon House was built to dazzle his neighbours and overshadow his rivals. The fluctuating fortunes of the family are prevalent in what we see at Claydon today along with the close family connection to Florence Nightingale. The construction and operation of the railway and the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot will have an impact on this tranquil, rural property and we are concerned that this and other planned local development will be harmful to an area which enjoys dark skies.

West Wycombe Village

The first village owned by the National Trust. It consists of a mix of houses and buildings from the 16th to 18th centuries.  Heavy goods vehicles may be asked to use the narrow road through this village as a route to transport construction materials from the M40 to the line of HS2. We are concerned about the impact this will have on these fragile, historic buildings and the residents of the village.

Coombe Hill

Located on the edge of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Coombe Hill is the highest viewpoint in the Chilterns and boasts spectacular views across the Aylesbury Vale. We are concerned about the impacts of HS2 and the other features of the railway on these far reaching views. We believe this can be minimised through effective screening which will enable this beautiful location to continue to be enjoyed.

Phase 2A Birmingham to Crewe

Shugborough Estate

The estate lies within the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is one of only a few surviving complete estates still possessing all its major buildings including the mansion house and a model farm. HS2 will pass within a kilometre of the park and we are monitoring the impacts this may have.

Downs Banks

Woodland and heath in the heart of the Midlands given to the National Trust after the Second World War as a memorial to those who died. Changes to the neighbouring rail infrastructure have the potential to harm this diverse, ecologically sensitive habitat. We are also monitoring possible impacts on views from this property.

Phase 2 Birmingham and Crewe to Leeds and Manchester

Hardwick Estate

A 16th century Elizabethan country house designed as a statement of power and wealth overlooking the Derbyshire countryside. From our initial assessment of HS2’s impacts on places, it is Hardwick Hall and its estate that appears to be the most negatively affected by HS2. HS2 would pass through the estate and this could have significant impacts on the landscape and views from the house as well as on our tenant farmers and the estate villages and affect access for the hundreds of thousands of visitors that visit Hardwick annually. We are seeking a high quality solution that significantly reduces the overall impacts on the landscape around Hardwick.

Dunham Massey

A place with a varied history with a significant collection contained within its Georgian Hall which also served as the Stamford Military Hospital during World War I. Dunham Massey is a green oasis supported by a vast working estate and deer park.  HS2 will run between Tatton Park and Dunham Massey passing close to the south west edge of the estate and several tenanted properties.  The Golborne Spur of HS2 runs next to Dunham Massey estate, and any changes to this spur considered by HS2 Ltd should give weight to the sensitivity and importance of Dunham Massey. The views from the estate, along with the businesses and quality of life of our tenants will be damaged by HS2 unless major mitigation measures are incorporated into HS2 Ltd’s designs.

Nostell Priory and Parkland

One of the most important collections in the National Trust with Chippendale furniture made especially for Nostell and interiors by Robert Adams.  The Priory sits in gardens and nearly 50 hectares of Parkland. We are concerned that the construction and operation of HS2 may create new risks to the hugely important and fragile historic collections within the mansion as well as impacting the tranquillity, setting, ecology, hydrology access to and visitor experience of Nostell’s outdoor spaces.  Heavy construction traffic for this large depot is likely to use unsuitable local roads.

Tatton Park

One of the UK’s most complete historic estates with landscaped gardens, a rare-breed farm and 400 hectares of deer park. It is the first substantial green space south of Manchester. HS2 will run within half a mile of the estate.

Calke Abbey

A baroque mansion sitting in an estate of 930 hectares of which 230 hectares is ancient parkland. The parkland is internationally important as a natural habitat and has wood pasture, with trees over 1000 years old. Calke Abbey and its parkland are noted for tranquillity and a sense of secrecy, so we are concerned about the impact of construction on those aspects of Calke Abbey’s special character.

Staunton Harold Church

An imposing church built in 1653, with a fine panelled interior. Although it is now a redundant church, the National Trust continues to care for this historic building.  It is a special, intimate and tranquil place susceptible to noise from both the operation and construction of HS2, and we look for the right mitigation to preserve this tranquillity.