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Abbotstone house was built around 1680, by Charles Paulet. The gardens were known as the Great Garden. The house was destroyed after 1759, and the gardens deteriorated. All that now remains is the vestiges of the 18th-century parkland, garden earthworks and walled garden.

In front and below the house was possibly a pleasure garden. Below again, there was another rectangular area of about two acres with steep banks which was the Great Garden referred to in 1745 by Henry Whitear's lease of Abbotstone Farm. Parts of a walled garden remain. Parts of the wall are supported by buttresses and several thin bricks that may have come from the earlier 16th-century house. There was a spring near the north-west corner of the garden and a small pond had at some time been constructed not far from the outlet and fed by the spring.

The main part of the garden was divided into four rectangular plots. Fruit trees, herbs, vegetables would all have been grown. There is also an iron grill about five feet wide in the wall that overlooks the stream. This may have prevented cold air collecting thus protecting the area against frost.

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Charles Paulet, created Duke of Bolton in 1689, was the son of John, the fifth Marquis of Winchester, a staunch Royalist and the defender of Basing House during the Civil War. From 1675 and after the fall of Basing House to Cromwell (1645), the Duke of Bolton started building a new house at Abbotstone on high ground overlooking the site of a former house. This had been built in the 16th century by his ancestor, William Paulet, the 1st Marquis of Winchester. From 1683 onwards, he also started to re-model Hackwood House which became his favoured residence.

Daniel Defoe visited Abbotstone soon after the house and gardens were finished and described ‘..a very handsome house and ...the prospect and vista's noble and great...' In 1719, Pavey described Abbotstone as ‘ a large nobel brick house edged with stone ...two vast large hawks to be fix'd to the top of two banqueting houses just before the entrance into the house...built after the Italian manner opening a vista from the end of the house to the other. The wings are the largest, darkening the body too much; there are above 100 rooms in the house...'.

In 1759, the 5th Duke of Bolton succeeded and was responsible for the destruction of the house and the transference of the Grinling Gibbons carvings to Hackwood. The Itchen Stoke and Abbotstone Tithe Map of 1838 shows an orchard, probably the orchard described by Celia Fiennes as ‘...fine gardens and much fruite'.

Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: Farmhouse
  • Grade: II
  • Site of Nature Conservation Importance

  • Site of Special Scientific Interest


  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house was demolished in 1759.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: The vestiges of the 18th-century parkland remains.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Earthwork
  • Description: Garden earthworks remain.
  • Garden Wall
  • Description: The walled garden remains.
Key Information






Part: standing remains

Open to the public


Civil Parish

Itchen Stoke and



  • Hampshire Gardens Trust