Summary

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Brief description of site

The house itself, which faces south, has a garden laid out with a series of serpentine paths around it on the north, east and south sides. The garden is planted with shrubbery and some trees. On the southern boundary there is a terrace, or possible a ha-ha, dividing the garden from the pasture. The site is now a timeshare resort.

Brief history of site

Brantridge Park was created some time between 1843 and 1874.

Location information:

Address: Balcombe, , RH17 6JT

Locality: West Sussex

Local Authorities:

West Sussex; Mid Sussex; Balcombe; Cuckfield

Historical County: Sussex

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 198 Grid Ref: TQ285304
Latitude: 51.0586 Longitude: -0.167778

Key information:

Form of site: garden

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: commercial

Site first created: 1843 to 1874

Main period of development: Mid 19th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Description

The 1919 Plan of the Brantridge Park Estate shows a landscaped park with a North Lodge connected to a large house with outbuildings, situated in the southern end of the property, by a serpentine drive which ends at a South Lodge. The whole estate was about 185 acres. The earlier maps of the area around the house (1874, 1897) have the same layout.

The house itself, which faces south, has a garden laid out with a series of serpentine paths around it on the north, east and south sides. To the east there are a series of buildings which are presumably the stables, coach house and so on. The garden is planted with shrubbery and some trees. On the southern boundary there is a terrace, or possible a ha-ha, dividing the garden from the pasture. The drive to the house enters the garden area from the north and splays out on the north front.

In the 1935 photograph a rock garden has been created in front of the house. The recent photograph (2006) of the house shows the same view as in 1935 but the rock garden is no longer there although humps in the grass remain.

Owner: Aberfoyle Holidays Ltd.

Viewforth . Main St . Aberfoyle . Stirlingshire . Scotland . UK .

Principal building:

House Created 1843 to 1874

The house first appears on the 1874 Ordnance Survey map.

External web site link: http://www.aberfoyleholidays.com/brantridge.htm

History

Brantridge Park does not appear on the 1843 Cuckfield Tithe Map so the house must have been built after that date. There is a farm marked 'Brantridge Farm', of 115 acres in the ownership and tenancy of a Reverend Clement Strong. It would seem that along with a number of other farms in the area it was bought for development after the advent of the railway in the area, and a 'gentry' house built. In the same neighbourhood, Sir Robert Loder had bought land and created the High Beeches estate in 1849 and in 1839 a George Harrington had bought land at Nymans farm and started to create an estate.

Brantridge Park appears on the 1874 1st edition Ordnance Survey map as an estate which is approximately the area of the original farm. There was both a north and a south lodge with connecting internal roads leading to the mansion house. A garden appears to have been laid out around the house extending to the east.

In the 1891 Census a Finlay Campbell is shown living at Brantridge Mansion. He was 52, married and 'living on own means', but the interesting thing is that he was an Australian, born in North Wales, Australia. He was living in some comfort with a wife, four children and eight servants (including a butler and a lady's maid). He was still there in 1919 as Fairweather (1981) says that a Mr Finlay Campbell sold the estate to Lord Cowdray, some 94 acres, in that year for £35,000.

The Earl and Countess of Athlone expressed an interest in renting the property and moved there in 1922. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, was one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters (her father was Prince Leopold) and her husband was the third son of Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck and thus brother to Queen Mary. The Athlone's daughter, Lady May, was married from Brantridge Park in 1931 to Captain Henry Abel Smith. The actual ceremony was performed in Balcombe Church and Queen Elizabeth II was bridesmaid for the first time at the age of five and a half.

Queen Mary often stayed with her brother and was a regular visitor to local gardens such as High Beeches (a special walk in the garden is named in her honour) and Nymans. In 1935 the Queen of the Netherlands and her daughter, Princess Juliana visited Brantridge Park. A photograph from the Sussex County Magazine seems to show a rock garden in front of the house. Sir Denys Lowson, at one time Lord Mayor of London, lived there for some years after the Athlones. The house was then used as a home for disabled children. The estate is currently a timeshare resort.

Features

gate lodge

drive

Serpentine drive.

terrace

ha-ha

References

Organisations associated with this site

Sussex Gardens Trust

Sources of information

Contributor or Recorder Sussex Gardens Trust

Images

There are no images associated with this site