Summary

This site is NOT open to public.

Loading...

Brief description of site

Lordington House, surrounded by its 17th-century, listed walled gardens and bowling green, is set just above the fish pond (an enlarged part of the River Ems) and the flint and brick former watermill. The house is now a Bed and Breakfast. To the south of Lordington House is Lordington Park (built between 1818 and 1880) which is situated within a parkland setting. The scattered parkland trees of lime, oak, ash and horse chestnut are singly placed, with one clump of cedars. Lordington Park is now a residential nursing home.

Brief history of site

Lordington House is thought to date to the 15th century, and was partly re-built in 1623.

Location information:

Address: Lordington, PO18 9DB

Locality: Chichester

Local Authorities:

West Sussex; Chichester; Funtington

Historical County: Sussex

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 197 Grid Ref: SU783097
Latitude: 50.8815 Longitude: -0.888353

Directions:

Lordington is situated at map reference SU783097, close to the River Ems on ground rising from 30 metres up to 65 metres.

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: commercial

Site first created: 1400 to 1623

Main period of development: Early 17th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Description

Lordington is now a hamlet of residential and agricultural buildings situated to the south-west of the village of Walderton in the parish of Stoughton. Lordington House and Lordington Park (a residential nursing home) are the principal buildings. The mill house and original farm buildings have been converted to residential use. In addition there is Lordington Farm and associated buildings and cottages. The buildings are part of a Conservation Area designated in 1973.

Lordington is situated at map reference SU783097, close to the River Ems on ground rising from 30 metres up to 65 metres. The landscape setting is quite intimate and pastoral. Views from the north-east around to the south are restricted by the sloping ground, with the ruins of Racton Monument on the wooded skyline to the south-west. The main focus is the gently winding river valley towards Walderton and spectacular views of the downs to the east.

Lordington House, surrounded by its 17th-century, listed walled gardens and bowling green, is set just above the fish pond (an enlarged part of the River Ems) and the flint and brick former watermill. Geoffrey Jellicoe described Lordington House (on a visit he made to advise on the gardens in February 1963) as 'a most interesting fragment of what must have been a considerable seventeenth century formal landscape. The existing house and gardens are beautifully set and retain their original geometric flavour. The shape of the fishpond and its relationship to the long lines of the garden above, are entirely consistent with the period. It is unusual to find a comprehensive landscape of the seventeenth century that has not been "landscaped" in the eighteenth century, or romanticised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.'

An equally important feature of this formal landscape is the short avenue of lime trees (Tilia euclora) leading away from the view point gate, in the north wall of the compartment around the house. These trees were planted in 1973 to replace ancient elms felled due to Dutch Elm Disease.

To the south of Lordington House is Lordington Park (built between 1818 and 1880) which is situated within a parkland setting. The scattered parkland trees of lime, oak, ash and horse chestnut are singly placed, with one clump of cedars. One ash (with some evidence of bracket fungi) and a horse chestnut (with some die-back) to the south-east of the house are of a considerable size and age. All these tress are covered by a Tree Preservation Order which came about as a result of some ash trees being felled alongside the road because of fears of public liability.

Other features of local landscape importance are the belt of trees to the south-west of Lordington which link the bridleway and farm track (formally Monument Lane and Newbarn Lane), Lordington Copse (a large block of ancient semi-natural woodland, which is classified a Site of Nature Conservation Importance), and a mixed woodland strip of ash, oak and willow standards with elder and hazel coppice which follows the west bank of the River Ems.

The land which encompasses the landscape setting of Lordington House and Lordington Park is divided between five different landowners.

From studying maps of 1778, 1818, 1880 and comparing them with 1997 aerial photographs and on-site observations, the following historic features can be identified.

For the older Lordington House, the River Ems winding through the valley watermeadows to the mill and the fish pond are important features to the approach and setting of the house and walled gardens. This view has probably changed little since 1778. Equally the wooded skyline created by Lordington Copse and seen through the gate in the north wall is important.

The avenue of elms referred to in 1869 are shown on the 1880 map as a remnant avenue leading north-east away from the walled garden. Judging from the height of the elm trees, as shown in a photograph dating from before 1973, they must have been several hundred years old and may well have been contemporary with the re-building of the house in 1623.

One landscape feature that is now missing is the tree-lined path which is shown on the 1880 map running along the valley, above the river, from Lordington to Walderton. The footpath still exists but it now goes through open fields.

The parkland to the south is unlikely to be part of the landscape of Lordington House. There is no reference to it in the field names of the 1818 estate map. Parkland is shown on the 1880 map and is more likely to be linked to the building and landscaping of Lordington Park.

The belt of trees to the south-west of Lordington is evident on the 1778 map. This feature has most likely been retained because it is on a steep slope that has little agricultural use.

Racton Monument, whilst it was built as a eye catcher for the neighbouring Stansted Estate, it is a prominent feature also of Lordington.

For the conservation of the 17th-century landscape of Lordington House it is the maintenance of the immediate landscape to the north of the walled garden and east down to the road that is critical. Fortunately the current owner has, over time, acquired the land around the house piecemeal, so bringing it into protective ownership. Subsequent owners may wish to make changes, although as part of this area comes within the conservation area change would be restricted. It is important to retain the avenue and the open water meadows.

Conserving the parkland trees and pasture is important to the setting of Lordington Park. Fortunately its current use as pony paddocks, with split chestnut rail fences, does not detract too much from the overall parkland setting.Provided the trees can be protected from browsing horses it does have the advantage of providing shade for them. Some new tree planting in the parkland has taken place and as the existing trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order they are likely to be replaced. Replacement should retain the existing species mix.

A blanket Tree Preservation Order without any regard for the context of this historic landscape and its conservation merit does not always produce the desired result. Permission was refused for the removal of an overgrown Lawson cypress hedge, to the west of the approach to Lordington House, which is quite out of character with the 17th-century landscape. The replacement of this hedge with native species would considerably enhance the landscape setting of Lordington Park.

Principal building:

Manor house Created 1400 to 1623

Lordington House was probably the manor house of Lordington, a small parish that was united with the parish of Racton in 1440. The present house is thought to be Tudor although it is uncertain who was responsible for its construction.

External web site link: http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?FileID=gbb5653

External web site link: http://www.lordington-park.co.uk./

External web site link: http://www.uk-carehomes.co.uk/chichester-nursing-homes-17583.php

History

Lordington House was probably the manor house of Lordington, a small parish that was united with the parish of Racton in 1440. The present house is thought to be Tudor although it is uncertain who was responsible for its construction. Dallaway attributes it to Sir Richard Pole in the 15th century, but as the manor did not pass to the Poles (through Sir Geoffrey Pole's wife Constance) until after 1528 this seems unlikely. The manor and house remained with the Pole family for 80 years, when it was sold by Geoffrey Pole (son of Sir Geoffrey) to Hugh Speke in 1609.

Sir John Fenner acquired the manor in 1623. He may have been responsible for the alterations and in part re-building which took place in that year, as confirmed by the date cut into the south wall. In 1630 the manor was purchased by Phillip Jermyn and it continued with the family until it was sold by order of Lord Lumley, who was probably a trustee, in 1689. It was known to be in the possession of Richard Peckham of Upmarden at his death in 1718 when it was inherited by his great-nephew Richard Packham, who died in 1734. The manor of Lordington then passed to his sister Sarah, as did the manor of Compton (see Compton Park/Little Green) and Up-Marden also owned by the Peckhams.

Sarah married Thomas Phipps in 1742. The manor and Lodington House then passed down through the family of Phipps and Peckham Phipps. An estate map of 1818 shows that Thomas Peckham Phipps owned much of the valley from Lordington to Compton. By inheritance it passed to the Phipps Hornby family. Around 1845 the eastern wing of the house was demolished. In 1895 restoration was carried out by Geoffrey Phipps Hornby as shown by an inscription on the house. Up until 1960 the Phipps Hornby family still had ownership of Lordington House, but much of the surrounding land (certainly to the north) was owned by the Stansted Estate. It was then sold to Sir Michael Hamilton.

Little is known of Lordington Place except from map evidence. It was built between 1818 and 1880, probably by the Phipps Hornby family. Colonel Geoffrey Phipps Hornby was resident there in 1960 until his death.

Site timeline

1818 to 1880: Lordington Park was built.

Features

river

The River Ems winds through the valley watermeadows to the mill.

fishpond

tree feature

Lordington Copse

tree avenue

Feature created: 1623

The avenue of elms referred to in 1869 are shown on the 1880 map as a remnant avenue leading north-east away from the walled garden. Judging from the height of the elm trees, as shown in a photograph dating from before 1973, they must have been several hundred years old and may well have been contemporary with the re-building of the house in 1623.

tree belt

Feature created: 1778

The belt of trees to the south-west of Lordington is evident on the 1778 map. This feature has most likely been retained because it is on a steep slope that has little agricultural use.

garden building

Racton Monument, whilst it was built as a eye catcher for the neighbouring Stansted Estate, it is a prominent feature also of Lordington.

References

Organisations associated with this site

Sussex Gardens Trust

Sources of information

A History of the Western Division of the County of Sussex

Dallaway, J. A History of the Western Division of the County of Sussex (London: T. Bensley, 1815-1830) 180

Contributor or Recorder Sussex Gardens Trust

Images

There are no images associated with this site