About leaton forest

About Leaton Forest

Leaton Forest is one of the most notable Shropshire woodland Estates.

The Estate comes into its own at Christmas time, selling Christmas trees and Christmas decorations such as wreaths and mistletoe. These can be pre-ordered online all year long or bought on the yard at Leaton Forest in November and December. Specific dates will be shared on the Christmas trees page.

Leaton also sells firewood and logs all year long. It’s good-quality, ethically-sourced and managed wood fuel from the woodlands on the Leaton Knolls Estate. Order yours online and have it delivered to your home.

Want to live or work at Leaton? The Estate boasts a range of residential properties and commercial properties to let in beautiful and tranquil locations. As they become available, details will be shared on the Properties page, or register your interest to hear about vacancies.

The Leaton Forest Team

Hon. Charles Bridgeman


The Leaton Knolls Estate (historically known as the Leaton Knolls and Preston Gubbals Estates in the County of Salop) was purchased and transferred into a Trust in 1947 by the late Earl of Bradford. His youngest son, Charles, was made a Life Tenant of the Estate in 1976 and manages the Estate with the assistance of the Trustees and professional advisors: Bidwells of Cambridge, Whittingham Riddell, accountants and Terry Jones, solicitors. 

Charles holds a degree in English & American Literature from Warwick University and a National Certificate of Agriculture from Walford College. He also gained a diploma in Rural Estate Management in 1990 from The Royal Agricultural University of Cirencester

After working as an assistant land agent at Carter Jonas Bridgnorth, he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, Rural Practice, in 1993. Since then his energies have been concentrated on managing the Leaton Knolls Estate and developing the businesses based on the Estate.

Richard Dowman

Richard came to work on the Estate in 2010 and is now Estate Manager. He oversees all the practical work on the Estate. He is responsible for running the Christmas trees, forestry and the conservation schemes on the Estate as well as managing the Estate's flock of Shropshire Sheep.

Richard Dowman


Angela Gwilt

Angela grew up on a mixed farm at Halfway House. She is a qualified farm secretary and joined the Estate team in 1996. She looks after all the financial aspects of the Estate and has seen the Estate diversify and grow over the years.

Angela Gwilt


Trevor Garside

Trevor joined us in 2014 and has since then has played a big part in the following estate enterprises: forestry, Christmas trees, fencing, maintenance, firewood production on the Estate, as well as many other things.

Trevor Garside


History of Leaton Forest

The mansion house for the Leaton Knolls Estate was built in 1837 by local master builder Edward Haycock to a design by Francis Lloyd, inspired by a trip to Tuscany, who was described as his own ‘Vitruvius‘ ( a Roman Architect).  Francis  was the captain of the Harrow School first 11 in cricket. 

The house was faced in ashlar Grinshill stone. It was unusual in that the ground floor was protected from the sun by a stone Doric colonnade. It was massively extended in the early 1900s with a substantial wing clad in rather severe Ruabon red brick.

Converted into 10 flats after WWII, it was believed to have been used as accommodation for returning ex-servicemen. 

The Lloyd family lived in the house until General Lloyd died and the family moved to Gloucestershire.

There is no principal residence at Leaton Knolls after the house was demolished in 1955 by the late, 6th, Earl of Bradford. The site for the original house is on private land with no right of access. The stables which were built in the early 1900s are still standing and have been converted into cottages.

The current owner, the Honourable Charles G O Bridgeman, resides on the Estate and has plans to build a new main residence for the Estate.

Leaton Knolls and the Community

The Leaton Knolls Estate has provided land for the Bomere Heath Cricket Club and continually looks to be of benefit to the local community.

The Leaton Knolls Estate gives strong support to Holy Trinity Church, Leaton. A fine and inspiring church with a tall spire, built in 1850 by celebrated architect Pountney Smith. The grandeur of this church did not go unnoticed when Nikolaus Pevsner carried out his survey of ‘the buildings of England’. The church was built from Grinshill sandstone, quarried locally.

Holy Trinity Church forms the focus for an active church community and services are held there on nearly every Sunday starting at 10:45.  Further information on the church and church services can be found on the Holy Trinity Church’s website.

Fishing at Leaton

Leaton Forest is fortunate to have one and a half miles of the River Severn meandering through its land. The river is regularly fished for Barbel, Chubb, Roach and Dace. 

If you are interested in fishing these beautiful peaceful riverbanks, just three miles from Shrewsbury, then please contact Alan Garbett for further details about membership and fees on 07961 281 026 or visit the website.