Broughton House, Stockbridge (also known as Pigeon House Farm)4893

Winchester, England, Hampshire, Test Valley

Brief Description

The site has an early Georgian House on the edge of Broughton Village. Originally a farm, it now consists of parkland of 8 hectares sitting astride the Wallop Brook. During the 20th century various workers' cottages have been sold, but the former walled garden and granary on staddle stones remain. The House has been restored in a Georgian manner.

History

In 1749, William Steele bought and converted Pigeon House Farm, just north of the Wallop Brook, into a fine Georgian House known as Broughton House.

Detailed Description

The present owners have been in occupation since 1964. The estate now comprises 8 hectares, comprising most of the land described in the sales brochure of 1924. However, individual properties retained at the time such as Gardener's Cottage and Meadows Cottages (now renamed Waterside Cottage) are now privately owned.

The view from the terraced walk over the Wallop Brook remains largely unchanged whilst the lawned area to the rear of the house has a thatched summerhouse. The walled garden is no longer productive. The present owner is of the opinion that this was originally a building as foundations have been identified in the inner area. Next to this stands the disused ‘old granary' raised on staddle stones. This has been moved from the back of the estate to a more prominent position close to the site of the original pigeon loft. The house has changed gradually over the past century, taking on a more symmetrical style whilst reverting to its original Georgian façade.

Features
  • Terraced Walk
  • Description: From family correspondence we learn that `?a terrace walk looking down on the garden and shrubbery, bordered by an avenue of noble firs afforded her (Anne Steele) much enjoyment?.
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  • Drive
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  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house was originally Pigeon House Farm, which was converted in 1749.
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  • Garden Building
  • Description: This is the disused `old granary? raised on staddle stones. This has been moved from the back of the estate to a more prominent position close to the site of the original pigeon loft.
  • Summerhouse
  • Description: Thatched summerhouse.
Garden Wall
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Broughton
History

Detailed History

The early history of the house is linked with the Steele family who had lived in the area since at least the early part of the 17th century. The original William Steele was a local carpenter who is credited with building ‘Grandfathers' in nearby Rookery Lane.

In 1749, four generations on, William Steele bought and converted Pigeon House Farm, just north of the Wallop Brook, into a fine Georgian House known as Broughton House. The family were active Baptists and Anne Steele was a well-respected hymn writer and poet. From family correspondence we learn that ‘...a terrace walk looking down on the garden and shrubbery, bordered by an avenue of noble firs afforded her much enjoyment'.

By the 1870s the farming activities had moved elsewhere and the pigeon house, which had given the farm its original name, was pulled down. A picture taken in 1856 shows Broughton House to be two stories plus an attic, with dormer windows and a single storey extension on the side. The Ordnance Survey map of 1871 more clearly shows the layout of the estate, with the carriageway from the village bridging the Wallop Brook, whilst a second entrance from Rookery Lane is by a ford. There is a circular driveway in front of the house. The original fir trees have now been replaced by various deciduous varieties. Mr. J Edwards, a keen gardener who bought the property in 1868 was said to have encouraged family life in the village by promoting ‘...reading, concerts and a flower show'.

An estate agent's brochure prepared in 1924-5 described not only the house but also the gardens in great detail with pictorial views. At that time the immediate estate comprised 26 acres plus a further 32 acres of arable land.

Contact
References

Contributors

  • Hampshire Gardens Trust