Stephen Freeman

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Stephen Freeman

Birthdate: (82)
Death: October 30, 1856 (78-86)
at his residence Ryton -on-Dunamore
Immediate Family:

Son of William Freeman and Elizabeth Freeman
Brother of William Freeman and Edward Freeman

Managed by: Susan Mary Rayner (Green) ( Ryan)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Stephen Freeman

Ryton House, Coventry, England Record Id: 2888

The following is from the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.


The site, which had previously formed part of the Wolford and Halle Fields, was part of an Enclosure Award of just over 24 acres (about 10 hectares) which was made to the Wilcox family in 1760. This passed by inheritance to Abraham Awson, who in turn left the property to Stephen Freeman in 1798. Freeman (1774-1856) was a member of a long-established Coventry family of Unitarian tradesmen, and in 1806-7 built the present villa. The OS Surveyor's drawing (1813) shows the house set in smaller gardens than at present to the north, east and south sides, but Greenwood's Map of Warwickshire (1820) indicates that by that date the basic form of the surviving landscape had been achieved. Stephen Freeman's brother, William (1773-1849), was an amateur artist of local note (Fretton 1883), and may have been responsible for laying out the grounds at Ryton; he spent his latter years at Ryton House.

Following Stephen Freeman's death in 1856, the property was owned in turn by his nieces, Catherine (Mrs Charles Twamley, died 1883) and Mary. Miss Mary Freeman died in 1895, leaving the estate to her nephew, Charles Browett. Browett, a Coventry solicitor, owned Ryton House until after the Second World War, when it became a Royal British Legion Club, in which use it continues today (1999).

Ryton House, Coventry, England Record Id: 2888


The following is from the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

Early 19th-century gardens, pleasure grounds and park associated with an early 19th-century villa.


Ryton House is situated about 250 metres south-east of the village of Ryton-on-Dunsmore, some 5km south-east of Coventry. The roughly six hectare site comprises about 1.5 hectares of gardens and pleasure grounds, and about 4.5 hectares of parkland, and occupies a triangle of land to the west of the junction of the A45 London Road and the A445 Leamington Road. The former lies to the north-east of the site, while the latter forms the south-eastern boundary. The western boundary comprises a hedge which separates the site from fields, now (1999) partly being developed for housing. The site slopes gently north from the House down to a stream running parallel to the northern boundary, which has been dammed to form two lakes. Ryton House is screened from the adjacent public roads by mature trees and shrubbery, but from the House and north terrace there are views over the grounds and lakes to trees on rising agricultural land about 500 metres to the north.

REFERENCES Used by English Heritage

W G Fretton (editor), The Staunton Folio, A Series of Illustrations of Coventry, Warwick and Brinklow (1883), p 4

A Starkey, Two Conversations of the Field & By Paths Etc of the Ancient Village of Ryton-on-Dunsmore (1898)

R A Clarke, Illustrating a City Edward Rudge and Art in Coventry c 1760-1830 (1992), pp 3, 20

H Fryer and J Lovie, Ryton House, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Rugby, (site report for English Heritage 1995)

Warwickshire Gardens Trust Newsletter, (Spring 1996), pp 5-6


W Yates and Sons, Map of Warwickshire, surveyed 1787-9, published 1793

C and J Greenwood, Map of Warwickshire, 1820

OS Surveyor's Drawing, 2" to 1 mile, 1813

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886; 2nd edition published 1906; 1938 edition

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886; 2nd edition published 1905; 1938 edition


Watercolour, Ryton House and park from the north, around 1830-40, (219/12-16), (Coventry Record Office)

Edward Rudge, Sketch views of Ryton House, gardens and park, early and mid-19th-century, (Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry)

Aerial photograph 106 UK 1539/3151, 1946 (Warwickshire SMR)

Archival items

Papers relating to Ryton House are held at the Warwickshire County Record Office and include the following items:

Plans and correspondence relating to Ryton House (early and mid-19th century), including plans for the original house, early 19th-century flower garden, and mid-19th-century alterations (CR350/18/1(15); Charles Twamley, Ryton: Description of Land and Messuages lying in Ryton on Dunsmore, Bedworth and Ansley in the County of Warwick Belonging to the Misses Freeman with notes on Title, August 1859 (CR2761/1); Charles Twamley, Note on Ryton House, around 1880 (CR 350/20/6); Notebook regarding the fishponds and their management at Ryton House from 1885 (CR 350/22); Mary Freeman, Diaries, 1845(93 (CR 350/19).

Ryton-on-Dunsmore Enclosure Award (no plan), 1763 (QS 75/94), (Warwickshire County Record Office)

Charles Browett papers, including items relating to his Ryton property, (207/10/9 and 119), (Coventry Record Office)

Will of Mary Freeman, proved April 1895 (Birmingham Reference Library Archive)

Description written: December 1999

Amended: May 2000

Edited: January 2001 Site designation(s)

English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England Grade II Reference GD2716

English Heritage Listed Building Grade II Reference Ryton House Principal building:

Villa Created 1806 to 1807


Terrain: The site slopes gently north from the House down to a stream running parallel to the northern boundary.

External web site link:

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Stephen Freeman's Timeline

October 30, 1856
Age 82
at his residence Ryton -on-Dunamore