The house is backed by woodland and surrounded by specimen trees. The main view is to the south giving a spectacular distant panorama of Chichester Harbour, the city of Chichester and the sea. Shorter views are south-east across the remnants of park and north-east to Walderton Down and Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve.
Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting
What remains of the original house, stables and walled garden, plus the 1877 Norman Shaw addition to house are situated at the 70 metre contour on rising ground. The house is backed by woodland and surrounded by specimen trees. The main view is to the south giving a spectacular distant panorama of Chichester Harbour, the city of Chichester and the sea. Shorter views are south-east across the remnants of park and north-east to Walderton Down and Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve.
From the raised terrace walk in front of Adsdean House, looking south-east, is the original parkland which is now in arable production. Of the scattered parkland trees show in the 1880 map there remains two clumps of cedars and one single tree. There are signs of dieback in the cedars, in particular the clump nearest the house (where two of the four trees have lost their tops). An arable field to the south of the site, between the drive from East Lodge and the road, which was not part of the original park now has five clumps of beech trees giving a parkland feel.
From West Lodge, travelling north-east towards the house, is the remnants of the grand entrance avenue. This has been shut off at both ends as it is in separate ownership from the lodge and house. The lower narrow strip consists principally of overgrown evergreen shrubs such as viburnum, rhododendron and holly with scattered yew and holm oak. Nearer the house the avenue plantings widen out and include ornamental trees such as redwood, monkey puzzle and pines amongst native self-sown trees and conifer plantation. This upper section is used as an access to fields so the drive has been kept open. Many of the specimen trees are in poor condition and covered with ivy.
Gardens and Pleasure Grounds
Comparison of the Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1859, 1867 and 1875, with the 1997 aerial photograph and site observations shows the main changes have been the loss of some parkland tress and a large woodland block, called Bottom Copse on the 1880 map, which is now in agricultural production.
The boundaries of Adsdean estate defined by the parish boundary on to the north and west, evident as an overgrown track in places, and a wood fringed bridleway to the south and east, are the same as shown in the 1840 estate map.
- Restoration of the parkland in front of the house
- Conservation of the avenue plantings from West Lodge to the house,
- Maintenance of the principal views from the house and drive through the park from East Lodge
- Maintenance of the woodland backing behind the house and of the boundary features.
- Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts
Adsdean House and Park are situated within the parish of Westbourne, to the north-west of the village of Funtington.
18th - 19th Century
Whilst Adsdean (sometimes shown as Adsden or Ashdean) was significant enough to be shown on maps of 1724, 1778, and 1795, the principal house, gardens and parkland were not created until some time between 1840 and 1880. The evidence of this is an estate map of 1840, when the land was in the ownership of Mr John Scardeville, then only Adsdean Farm existed surrounded by fields and some woodland blocks along the north-west boundary.
By the 1870-1880 Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1859, 1867 and 1875), Ashdean Park, House and Farm is shown, as well as the two lodge houses, East Lodge (formally called Chichester Lodge) at the entrance to the drive through the park to the house and West Lodge (formally Havant Lodge) by the main road entrance leading to a tree-lined avenue to the house.
The house is reputedly to have been built by 3rd Duke of Richmond to a design by Charles Dorrien. Certainly the estate was part of the Goodwood estate from 1800.
In Sept 1898, Adsdean Estate, which was let to Mrs Kincaid Smith, was put up for sale. It is thought Adsdean was bought by the Tennant brewing family, who were responsible for planting the cedar trees.
The 1898 sale particulars describe the site as, "... the well-known country seat distinguished as Adsdean Park ...The mansion occupies a well-chosen site 250 feet above sea level, effectually (sic) screened from the north and east by the rising ground clothed with thick plantations, and commands views which for extent, beauty and interest are difficult to equal. They embrace both land and sea - the English Channel with a fine stretch of coast line, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, etc., being distinctly visible. As seen from the Chichester Road, nestled amidst rich plantations, it presents a pleasing picture and an ideal situation...approached by two long carriage drives, one through a charming avenue of plantations and the other winding through the park. They are each protected at the entrance by a superior lodge...the extensive well-wooded park, falls away in pleasing undulation in front of the mansion, allowing of a pretty view of the drive traversing it."
Whilst Adsdean House is now somewhat reduced in size from the original, the 1898 description of the site still runs true. Only the parkland is missing.
From around 1925 to 1946 the house was let to Mountbatten, who built a nine hole golf course and polo field in the park. In 1954 part of the original house demolished and in 1970 the house, stable block and outbuildings were sold off in lots to form five separate residential units.
- Features & Designations
- House (featured building)
- Description: The house was partly demolished in 1954.
- Earliest Date:
- Latest Date:
- Stable Block
- Garden Terrace
- Terraced Walk
- Tree Clump
- Description: Two clumps of cedars.
- Latest Date:
- Tree Clump
- Description: An arable field to the south of the site, between the drive from East Lodge and the road, which was not part of the original park now has five clumps of beech trees giving a parkland feel.
- Tree Avenue
- Description: From West Lodge, traveling north-east towards the house, is the remnants of the grand entrance avenue.
- Specimen Tree
- Description: Many of the specimen trees are in poor condition and covered with ivy.
- Gate Lodge
- Key Information
Part: standing remains
Open to the public