Summary

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Brief description of site

The most distinguishing feature of Grove Place was its lime avenues which were badly damaged in recent years. Some listed features remain. The current owners of Grove Place are reinstating the historic garden features to the property.

Brief history of site

The existing Elizabethan house was built around 1561 at Nursling in the Test Valley. In the first half of 19th century, it was made into a private lunatic asylum. The site was bought in 1895 by Colonel de Sales la Terriere, who restored the interior and created more extensive gardens. The house was occupied from 1961 to 2006 by schools, who built classroom blocks in the gardens, playing fields and tennis courts. There are some listed features. The site is now owned by Renaissance LifeCare, with plans to create a retirement community and restore the historic grounds where possible.

Location information:

Address: Grove Place, Upton Lane, Nursling, SO16 0AB

Locality: Nursling

Local Authorities:

Hampshire; Test Valley; Nursling and

Historical County: Hampshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 185 Grid Ref: SU367167
Latitude: 50.9486 Longitude: -1.47895

Key information:

Form of site: garden

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: manor house

Site first created: Before 1561

Main period of development: 16th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Description

In 1622 Grove Place was described as ‘... including all the New House, Old House, outhouses, orchards, gardens, yards and backsides, arable lands, pastures, meadows and woodgrounds that do lie within all, or any of the bounds aforesaid, ... as parcell the said tenement called Grove Place.' At about this time the lime avenue was planted.

In 1895 it was bought by Colonel de Sales la Terriere with 65 acres. He restored the house and created gardens to complement the Elizabethan building. East of the house he made three new formal garden enclosures. To the west he reused the former alignments and terraced the walled ‘airing' court of the asylum and planted it with formal beds. On the north side of the house he made a rose garden and a tennis court. An outer forecourt was reinstated in front of the house and shelter belts were planted round the open parkland.

De Sales la Terriere sold the property in 1906. Subsequent owners maintained the layout of the gardens until, divided into 12 lots, it was sold again in 1949. In 1961 it was bought by Northcliffe school, buildings were inserted into parts of the garden, flower beds were not well-cultivated and some hedges were allowed to grow unchecked.

The double lime avenue, a major feature throughout the history of Grove Place, was badly damaged in the gales of 1987 and 1990. Since then the avenue has been replanted for the third time. In 1995 the Atherley School replaced Northcliffe School, and more of the gardens were taken up with buildings for classrooms and other facilities. The present owners, Renaissance LifeCare, are intending to reinstate as many of the historic features of the garden as possible in their plans for a retirement community.

Owner: Renaissance LifeCare

Site designation(s)

The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building Grade I Reference Grove Place

Principal building:

Manor House Created 1561

Designation status: The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building Grade I

History

The medieval history of Grove Place is confused by its incorporation into the manor of Southwells which, in the 15th century, came into the possession of the Dean and Canons of St Georges's Chapel, Windsor. In the 1520s John Mill, a Southampton merchant, bought several estates in the area and his son, Thomas Mill, leased from the Abbey of Romsey ‘the house and a garden of six acres at Grove Place'.

When Thomas died in 1560, the house and garden were inherited by his son, Richard Mill. Just a year later, James Paget, the son-in-law of the late John Mill, took a lease of the manor of Southwells from the dean and canons of Windsor for 81 years, and it was Paget who built the existing Elizabethan house of Grove Place. The medieval house, about 100 metres south-west of the new house, remained in occupation until the early-17th century.

In 1590 William Paulet, a son-in-law of James Paget, transferred the remaining term of the lease of the manor of Southwells to Richard Mill, which then included the leases of both houses.

In 1630 the manor was sold to King Charles I who granted it to Henry Knollys. Members of the family occupied Grove Place until 1751 when Robert Knollys died without a male heir. Ownership then reverted to the Mill family. They kept most of the farmlands and leased the Elizabethan mansion with 88 acres.

About 1813 it was leased by Dr Edward Middleton. He adapted the house and grounds for use as a private lunatic asylum. It continued to be run as an asylum until 1855, when the licence to operate was withdrawn. The mansion then remained empty until the freehold was bought by Viscount Palmerston in 1861, and leased as a farmhouse.

Site history key facts

Historical use of site

1813 to 1855: asylum landscape

Site timeline

1949: The estate was divided into lots and sold.

1987 to 1990: The double lime avenue, a major feature throughout the history of Grove Place, was badly damaged in the gales of 1987 and 1990.

Features

shelter belt

Feature created: 1895 to 1906

orchard

Feature created: Before 1622

avenue

Feature created: 1622

The lime avenue was planted around 1622. It was damaged in the 1987 storms.

References

Organisations associated with this site

Hampshire Gardens Trust CGT Reference Site 1464

Historic England Role: Designating Authority

Sources of information

Contributor or Recorder Hampshire Gardens Trust

Images

There are no images associated with this site