Betteshanger House (also known as Northbourne Park School)398

Deal, England, Kent, Dover

Brief Description

Betteshanger is a former Victorian estate of 73 hectares (180 acres) including parkland, copses with specimen trees and the remains of 19th- and 20th-century formal gardens. The site is now home to Northbourne Park School.

History

An early-19th century house was enlarged from 1851.

Detailed Description

Many of the large trees along the long entrance drive, holm oaks, cedars and especially beech, fell in the 1987 storm. The woodlands, which were used for amenity purposes, and unmanaged as such, have suffered extensive damage - up to 75% of the trees were uprooted. An entire lime avenue in the parkland has been damaged to the extent that all trees have had to be reduced to around 3 metres in height. A limited amount of recent planting is visible in some corners of the parkland.

The house stands on a gentle slope and overlooks the vestiges of a formal and walled garden to the south-east. Here is a balustraded terrace, neglected Dutch garden, and the rather romantic St Mary's Church, a neo-Norman structure built in 1853-4 by Salvin (Newman). (The school prospectus says Devey rebuilt it.)

There are extensive playing fields fringed by woodland to the west of the house, and a rather stark swimming pool which stands out on the south-west corner of the main lawn.

Features
  • School (featured building)
  • Description: The house is a massive and generally successful example of George Devey?s country house style.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: An entire lime avenue in the parkland has been damaged to the extent that all trees have had to be reduced to around 3 metres in height.
Access & Directions

Directions

The site is 3 miles west of Deal near the village of Northbourne.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Northbourne
History

Detailed History

Betteshanger House is a former estate, with its heyday in Victorian times. At that time, the associated woodland, parkland and gardens formed part of the unique, wooded, historic landscape of private estates that lie west of Deal and east of Wingham. Others include Waldershare, Goodnestone, Knowlton, Updown and Northbourne Court as major examples.

The house is a massive and generally successful example of George Devey's country house style, but cleverly embodying 16th and 17th century local features such as Flemish gables and windows in stone, flint and brick.

Devey enlarged a smaller, early-19th century house from 1851 onwards for Lord Northbourne. The enlargements included a tower, and were not completed until the 1880s, after Devey's death. He also built various estate cottages, including two lodges and the old cottage hospital on the main road (1875).

The late Lord Northbourne (died 1982) granted the house and estate to Northbourne Park School in 1934. The grounds are characterised by copses, parkland with specimen trees, and the derelict remnants of more formal gardens of the 19th and early-20th century.

Associated People

People associated to Betteshanger House

References

References