1811: The Thames -

Harleyford Manor, 1811

'Views on the Thames' by William-Bernard Cooke, George Cooke, Samuel Owen and Peter de Wint -

This handsome mansion is the seat of Sir William Clayton, Bart, and is situated on the banks of the Thames, near the borough town of Marlow, in the county of Buckingham. It was erected in the year 1755, after a design, and in the peculiar style of architecture which distinguishes the works of Sir Robert Taylor.
It occupies part, and but a small part, of the ancient manor-house, which was an edifice of very old date, and resembled in form and appearance, as it equalled in antiquity, the venerable mansion of Hurly-house, the seat of Mr. Wilcox, on the Berkshire side of the river; so that the surrounding scenery must have lost somewhat of its picturesque effect, from the change of such an object for the modern structure.
It is built of a red brick, and though not on a large plan, contains something more than a mere commodious suite of apartments.
It was ever a leading and favourite circumstance in the edificial designs of Sir Robert Taylor, and, indeed, it first brought him into notice, that, however deficient his elevation might be in classical beauty and correctness, or in the lesser domestic arrangements of the houses which he built, he never failed to give a succession of as spacious rooms on the principal floor, as the quantity of square feet allotted him, or the expence to which he was limited, would admit.
He never spared his semi-circular sweeps to encrease the dimensions of the apartments; so that the exterior outline of many of his houses have a singular though not irregular appearance. The uncommon height also which he gave to what may be called the living rooms, when raised upon a basement story, threw his building rather in a disproportionate manner into the air.
He was fond, of balls, but on what principles of taste or beauty, we do not understand, as decorations. Harleyford-house is not without them, and possesses the peculiarities which have been just enumerated.
The house might certainly have been shaped with a much better adaption, than it possesses, to the surrounding scenery, which is not without a considerable portion of beauty. Zucarelli made a painting of it, of which there is an engraving by Major; and the truth of our observation, would, we think, be confirmed by an examination of that very pleasing picture.
The mansion is placed on an easy slope, rising from the margin of the river, which comprehends a fine view in each direction, to the town of Marlow, with its spire and bridge, one way; and to Bisham-Abbey, the seat of Mr. Vansittart, the other.
The grounds on the opposite side of the water form a pleasing acclivity, varied with wood and agricultural Cultivation. The house is sheltered from the north by a fine grove of beech and other trees. The lawn is ornamented with the oak and chesnut. The walks are extensive, and open to very charming views.
Several small buildings are dispersed through the grounds, the principal of which is a temple, dedicated to Friendship, and was a tribute of regard to the Clayton family, by the late Doctor Thomas, Bishop of Rochester, who erected it.

1875:  Harleyford Manor, Henry Taunt -

Harleyford Manor, Henry Taunt, 1875
Harleyford Manor, Henry Taunt, 1875
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT1748

Harleyford Manor
Harleyford Manor,RIGHT bank below Hurley weir

That house I identify as Toad Hall.  I have no reason other than its idyllic river setting  and squat self confidence.

Rounding a bend in the river, they came in sight of a handsome, dignified old house of mellowed red brick, with well-kept lawns reaching down to the water's edge. 'There's Toad Hall,' said the Rat; 'and that creek on the left, where the notice-board says, "Private. No landing allowed," leads to his boat-house, where we'll leave the boat. The stables are over there to the right. That's the banqueting-hall you're looking at now — very old, that is. Toad is rather rich, you know, and this is really one of the nicest houses in these parts, though we never admit as much to Toad.'
They glided up the creek, and the Mole shipped his sculls as they passed into the shadow of a large boat-house. Here they saw many handsome boats, slung from the cross beams or hauled up on a slip, but none in the water; and the place had an unused and a deserted air. The Rat looked around him. 'I understand,' said he. 'Boating is played out. He's tired of it, and done with it. I wonder what new fad he has taken up now? Come along and let's look him up. We shall hear all about it quite soon enough.'
They disembarked, and strolled across the gay flower-decked lawns in search of Toad, whom they presently happened upon resting in a wicker garden-chair, with a pre-occupied expression of face, and a large map spread out on his knees.
'Hooray!' he cried, jumping up on seeing them, 'this is splendid!' He shook the paws of both of them warmly, never waiting for an introduction to the Mole. 'How KIND of you!' he went on, dancing round them. 'I was just going to send a boat down the river for you, Ratty, with strict orders that you were to be fetched up here at once, whatever you were doing. I want you badly — both of you. Now what will you take? Come inside and have something! You don't know how lucky it is, your turning up just now!'
'Let's sit quiet a bit, Toady!' said the Rat, throwing himself into an easy chair, while the Mole took another by the side of him and made some civil remark about Toad's 'delightful residence.' 'Finest house on the whole river,' cried Toad boisterously. 'Or anywhere else, for that matter,' he could not help adding.

1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -

On the Bucks side, Harleyford House itself is ugly enough, though no house on the river has a sweeter situation ;  here are cannon balls and fortifications (against whom intended I do not know), neatly kept landing-places, the usual trespassers boards, and some lovely backwaters, in one of which is a very fine boathouse, with the stream running through it, near which a beautiful plane tree overhangs the water, beneath which tree the late Emperor of the French was very fond of lying in his boat, when on a visit here in bygone days.

In 1871 Sir William Clayton sought permission to lay a boom across the channel by Harleyford House.  It was quite rightly refused - though the reference to the French Emperor above might mean there was more to this request than selfishness.

1901: The Thames Illustrated by John Leland -

... Harleyford Manor, the seat of Sir William Clayton, a brick building which dates from 1715, and is famous for the romantic beauty of its woods.

1793: Temple and Harleyford, Boydell taken from somewhere near Danesfield House (Hotel) -

Temple & Harleford 1793 Boydell
Temple & Harleford. June 1, 1793. J. Farington R.A. delt. J.C. Stadler sculpt.
(Published) by J. & J. Boydell, Shakespeare Gally. Pall Mall & (No. 90) Cheapside (London).

1987: Listed Building:

A mid to late C18 landscape park and pleasure ground, possibly laid out by Lancelot Brown, surrounding a 1755 Thames-side villa.

Harleyford Manor House was the seat of the Manor of Great Marlow and Harleyford from at least the C16. Sir William Clayton Bt, of Marden, Surrey, bought the estate in 1728, continuing to use Marden, and keeping Harleyford as his summer residence. The house was surrounded by gardens, orchards, groves and walks, and also "the Greens, Oranges, Bayes, Yews, Lawrell and all other Trees Shrubs Plants and Flowers"(Harleyford deeds, 1717 & 1728). John Rocque's 1761 Map of Berkshire shows a formal garden arrangement east and west of the old house. Sir William died in 1744, succeeded by his younger son, also William, who used Harleyford as his main residence and, finding the old house inconvenient, built a new house, a villa designed by Sir Robert Taylor and completed by 1755. During the remainder of the C18 the landscape was laid out, possibly by Lancelot Brown(1716-83), although there seems to be no documentary record of this. The open situation of the house, however, overlooking the river, the winding approach drive, and variation between woodland and open parkland might well be attributed to Brown. The major elements of the designed landscape are shown on a map of 1806 (BRO). The Claytons continued adding plants during the C19, creating the formal setting immediately around the house, and flower gardens in the walled gardens in the early C20, eventually selling the estate in 1950. In the late C20 various features have been added, including log cabins in the woods, a static caravan park in and around the walled garden and a golf course in the northern parkland; the house has become offices. Parts of the landscape were restored in the 1990s.

There are no formal gardens around the house, which sits on a C19 rectangular platform laid to lawn, raised above the surrounding lawn, with several small topiary yew and box plants, all surrounded by an iron fence. East of the house a late C20 basement extension emerges east of the house in the eastern terrace slope, fronted by an arcaded screen wall facing east. Informal lawns flanking the house platform extend 300m west at the bottom of the steep valley side, and 50-100m east, merging into the park, both lawns following the line of the river edge. The Grove, which lies north-west of the house, is terraced (probably C18 origin) and may have been an C18 pleasure ground. At the east end of The Grove, north of and overlooking the house, lies the late C18 Dairy(listed grade II), consisting of a rectangular, single-storey, flint main block with Gothic-arched windows and doors, and an oval pebble-dashed pavilion at the south end. This may have been a picturesque eyecatcher from the house and lawns by the river, sitting prominently high above them at the top edge of the valley side and enjoying fine views back down to the south. At the south-west corner of The Grove, sited against the walls of an old quarry, lies the semicircular Shell Grotto, a domed and rendered feature with a seat and flint arch, recently renovated. The Grotto faces south down a short path to the riverside lawn, from where it is approached from the house via a raised mound parallel to the river bank. The river is just visible from the Grotto. The steep slope between the Dairy and Grotto may also have been part of The Grove, with C19 specimen trees and evergreen shrubs including box, holly, Portuguese laurel and yew planted along it, and views through the trees down the slope to the river and beyond. A stone statue of Sir Robert Clayton (1714, listed grade II), lies in The Grove, brought from Christ's Hospital, London c 1900. A development of log cabins has been sited amongst the trees in the southern half of The Grove, with associated circular drive system, and a car park has been placed in the north-east quarter, close to the golf clubhouse.

The park falls into two main divisions. The north park, now part of the golf course, is sited on the north plateau with sparse single trees. Surrounded by woodland, the north drive runs north/south through it. At the southern end a brick barn complex has been converted into a golf clubhouse. The east park, recently restored to pasture as parkland, having been a caravan park, is sited on flood meadows, bounded to the west and north by Home Copse woodland and to the south by the river, with views of the river and the bank beyond it. It has several clumps of trees, a line of trees running along the riverside and the east drive running through it.

The walled kitchen garden, built of red brick, lies 500m east of the house, located at the eastern corner of the east park. The area is divided into three rectangles, separated by brick walls, each with a semicircular archway. The west compartment is an estate yard;the two further east are used as a caravan park. A low, C19, ornamented brick bothy runs along the western compartment outside the north wall, connected to the C19 brick gardener's cottage with its turret, which is in similar, but grander, style to the East and Middle Lodges. A second, less elaborate, gardener's cottage lies on the west wall of this compartment. In the 1900s the kitchen garden was extensively planted as an ornamental flower garden by Lady William Clayton(CL 1910).

A large area consists of woodland. The Brambles is an area of mixed woodland and rhododendron to the north, forming a buffer zone between the north park and the Henley Road. It originally(OS 1913) had several paths running through it, which are now overgrown. Home Copse, on the east boundary of the site, is a large block of mixed woodland, with a network of paths throughout, and at its north-eastern edge a mid to late C18 domed temple(listed grade II), the principal built ornamental landscape feature on the site. The temple may be the Temple of Friendship of 1775, built at the expense of the Bishop of Rochester for the second Sir William Clayton (Pevsner 1994). It is octagonal, ashlar-faced over brick, with one storey and a basement, and three windows facing north across farmland(now a golf course), east towards Marlow, and south across the Thames valley. The entrance, on the west side, is reached by steps up to the main floor. It has recently been restored and the scrub which surrounded it has been removed. The temple now lies prominently positioned, backed by woodland to the west and with a curved moat or ditch to the north and east. A brick icehouse(mid to late C18, listed grade II), recently restored, lies close to the south-west corner of Home Copse, set into the valley side at the bottom of the slope. A development of log cabins is being erected(1997)along the southern edge of Home Copse, and a late C20 bungalow has been erected at its south-west corner.

The islands in the river may also form part of the designed landscape, and it is possible that Lancelot Brown may have worked on the formation or shaping of them. The small island closest to the house is mown lawn with many specimen trees. The larger island behind this, to the south, has a more natural character and is rather overgrown. Motor cruisers are moored all around the smaller, northern island and along the river bank.