Braishfield Manor (also known as Pitt House, The Manor)4942

Romsey, England, Hampshire, Test Valley

Brief Description

The site has a mid-18th-century Georgian brick farmhouse with an Elizabethan core, extended and altered early in the 20th century. At this time, fine gardens were laid out, and the house was renamed Braishfield Manor. In 1994 the landscape architect, Malcolm Shennon, redesigned and enlarged the garden, with a large pond, cascades, and new terraces.

History

Pitt house was probably built in the mid-18th-century on an Elizabethan core. It was the centre of a farming estate. A map of 1870 shows a small cultivated garden on the south front of the house and a larger one divided into beds on the west side. In 1909, the house was enlarged by the addition of two wings. Many changes were made to the garden in the first third of the 20th century, including the addition of herbaceous borders, topiary and a rose garden.

Detailed Description

In the 1970s the garden was simplified. A swimming pool replaced the rose garden but the surrounding box hedge was kept, and a hard tennis court was made. The next owner planted two vineyards around 1980, a small one near the house and a larger one in a field of Pitt Farm. Both of these were removed in the 1990s and turned into paddocks. He also converted the stables into a house.

The present owners bought the estate in 1994 and commissioned the landscape architect Malcolm Shennon to redesign the garden. He recommended extensive changes, chiefly landscaping the prevailing slope with terraces, and using it to make water features of cascades and a large pond. They have planted trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants and added two pieces of modern sculpture. The estate includes The Barn, the former stables of the Manor, and The Gatehouse, the former stables of the Lodge. There are also 364 hectares of arable land, and 81 hectares of woodland.

Features
  • Rose Garden
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  • Topiary
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  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Pitt house was probably built in the mid-18th-century on an Elizabethan core.
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  • Herbaceous Border
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  • Terrace
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  • Drive
  • Description: A second drive was built, entering from the lane on the east, to serve the rear of the house.
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  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: The present owners bought the estate in 1994 and commissioned the landscape architect Malcolm Shennon to redesign the garden. He recommended extensive changes, chiefly landscaping the prevailing slope with terraces.
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  • Cascade
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  • Pond
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  • Sculpture
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Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Braishfield
History

Detailed History

Pitt house was probably built in the mid-18th-century on an Elizabethan core. It was the centre of a farming estate. There were stables beside the entrance gates and a long drive leading up the hill to the house. The Ordnance Survey 1st edition 25"1870 map shows a small cultivated garden on the south front of the house and a larger one divided into beds on the west side. This is screened from the adjacent Lodge by a line of trees. The garden slopes away from the house to the south.

In 1903 the property was bought by Mr A King who re-named it The Manor and then Braishfield Manor. In 1909, the house was enlarged by the addition of two wings. During the thirty years that they lived there Mr and Mrs King made many alterations. They laid out the garden with straight paths and steps, planted a rose garden, borders of herbaceous plants and topiaried shrubs. They also extended the terrace in front of the house and put in a second drive entering from the lane on the east, to serve the rear of the house. The stables were converted into garages. It was probably the Kings who planted trees along the boundary with the road, replacing the iron railings removed during World War 1.

During World War 2 Robin Merton lived in Braishfield Manor. He was only a child at the time but remembers the extensive grounds and mysterious shrubberies as a wonderful place for children to play. There was a productive vegetable garden and a formidable gardener to look after it all. Old photographs show the rose garden, borders, straight paths and steps introduced by the Kings.

Period

  • Early 20th Century
Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

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