Audleys Wood lies to the north east of Cliddesden, in a wooded valley forming a backcloth to the village. In spite of its proximity to the urban area of Basingstoke, Audleys Wood estate and its woodland – combined with the woodlands of Hackwood House to the east of the A 339 are important elements of the wooded approach to the Basingstoke, maintaining and protecting the character of the rural landscape surprisingly so intact so close to the urban area. The structure of the original gardens is still intact within the estate although much altered in detail to modern use.
Audleys Wood was built in the mid-1880s for Sir George Bradshaw. The house included a singular glass conservatory as indicated on the 1895 OS map and illustrated in a 1930s photo. By the mid 1890s the estate included extensive pleasure grounds with many of the elements of a mansion house: undulating lawns, sunken garden, grass tennis courts, herbaceous borders including a large south facing walled kitchen garden with cold frames, lean-to glasshouse, potting and other sheds, orchard, gardener's cottage and stable yard.
Approached by a long drive from the Cliddesden Road the house sits in well maintained lawns, mature tree belts of oak beech and ornamental conifers and shrubberies. It is enclosed to the east and north by woodland - the Odleys. A walled garden with extensive outbuildings lie to the north of the house and are approached through the woods from the A339.
Audleys Wood is a late 19th century landscape park formed from ancient woodland site providing a setting to the Grade 11 19th century mansion built by Sir George Bradshaw.
Lord Camrose Editor and Proprietor of The Daily Telegraph lived here during the 2nd world war.
Landscape Planning Status :
Ancient Woodland Inventory Map 33 Woods form the visual boundary of the property to the east, the northern half of which is identified as a site with Ancient Woodland intact.
Detailed description contributed by Hampshire Gardens Trust 08/04/2015
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The parish of Cliddesden is said to have formed part of King Harold's estates, and the name Audley occurs as ‘Oddele' in the 13th century and as ‘Odlease' in 1578.
From the Old Series OS map dated 1810/1850 only the woods at Odley's Coppice are indicated lying in a small valley to the west of Hackwood Park, and no dwelling is recorded in the tithe map of 1842. Pensdell Farm appears on the Taylor and Milne maps (1759 & 1791)
The lands lie within the manor of Cliddesden and therefore until the early 20th century were part of the estate of the Earl of Portsmouth. Created in the Gothic Renaissance style, Audleys Wood was built in the mid-1880s for Sir George Bradshaw, (of the Railway Guide). The house included a singular glass conservatory as indicated on the 1895 OS map and illustrated in this 1930s photo. By the mid 1890s the estate included extensive pleasure grounds with many of the elements of a mansion house, undulating lawns, sunken garden, grass tennis courts, herbaceoud borders including a large south facing walled kitchen garden with cold frames, lean-to glasshouse potting and other sheds, orchard gardeners cottage and stable yard, and included Pensdell Farm, at the western entrance and lodges at the east and western entrances. In 1901, the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway opened a station at Cliddesden at the southern end of the estate.
In 1889, the estate was sold to Mr Henry Adolphus Simonds - local Reading brewer, and later inherited by his nephew Mr Luis de Luze Simonds. During the 2nd world War, Audleys Wood was let to Lord Camrose - Editor and Proprietor of The Daily Telegraph when his estate at Hackwood became a Canadian military hospital. In 1950, the estate was bought by Lord Camrose, and offered for sale in December 1951, and acquired as a home for the elderly and blind. In 1986 Thistle Hotels bought it and in 2007 extended to create a 70 bed hotel.
Since the mid 1980s, the extent of the estate has been reduced as a result of the construction of the M3 motorway.
Detailed history contributed by Hampshire Gardens Trust 08/04/2015
Hampshire Gardens Trust