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Cadland House


The original building on the site overlooking the Solent was a fishing cottage, designed by Henry Holland about 1775, with pleasure grounds laid out by his father-in-law, Lancelot (Capability) Brown. The gardens are open by written appointment only to parties of 20 or more from May to July and September to October.


The landscape gardens sit directly on the seashore with the shingle banks of the foreshore included in the scheme.

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting

Originally a cottage orné on the banks of the Solent, Cadland House was enlarged as a private residence. It is set at the centre of a pleasure ground laid out by Lancelot Brown in the 1770s.

Cadland House lies 3.5km south of Fawley and occupies a coastal site with fine views directly across the Solent to the Isle of Wight to the south-east. It is sited in a position where the deep navigable channel through the Solent swings close to the northern shore, bringing the movement of ships within close range as seen from the shore. The landscape gardens of 7ha sit directly on the seashore with the shingle banks of the foreshore included in the scheme. The soils are dry and acid and the site is exposed to fierce, salt-laden winds. The gardens are set against a wooded backdrop which, together with the woodland canopy of the garden itself, suffered extensive damage in the storms of 1987 and 1990, since when there has been a substantial programme of replanting to a plan prepared by Mark Laird.

Entrances and Approaches

Andrew Robert Drummond succeeded his father, Andrew Berkeley, in 1833. He altered the route of the drive to the Cottage, which previously had run through the piece of woodland alongside Juggler's Moor, to the current entrance. This new line leads from the yellow-brick Nelson's Lodge, dated 1864, south through woodland to the lawn north of the house. From here it passes on the east side of the Octagon, a garden pavilion built in 1972 to the designs of Maldwin Drummond to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Robert Drummond's purchase of the estate. The drive continues to the north front of the House, then west past the Victorian coach house, built in 1862, through Allwood's Copse, then Stanswood Copse, to rejoin the public road.

Principal Building

The original thatched cottage orné designed by Henry Holland was burnt down in 1785, but was at once rebuilt with a slate roof (Frey, 1792). Robert Drummond used Holland again to extend the cottage by adding wings in 1803.

On the death of Andrew Robert Drummond in 1865, the cottage was extended to become the dower house for his widow, Lady Elizabeth (d 1886). In 1916 it was again destroyed by fire and remained as a shell until 1935 when Cyril Drummond, who had inherited in 1929, built a much larger residence on the site. No architect was involved in this work, but Drummond sought advice from the interior decorator, Henry Dixon. The present dining room, extending as a three-sided bay, reflects the shape of the eating-room of Holland's fishing cottage. Each side of the bay offers views out over the lawn and across the Solent and these formed an important element in Brown's design.

Gardens and Pleasure Grounds

Lancelot Brown's plan (c 1775) shows the House encircled by a planting of trees and shrubs. The design was adapted to suit the coastal conditions and the small scale of the composition. Since the 1980s there has been an extensive programme to restore the gardens to his design and to replant them authentically.

To the east of the House, a path leads from the edge of the lawn into a shrubbery planted below light woodland. This is the start of the circular walk through carefully modelled grounds which forms the main feature of the layout, and is important in raising areas of planting so as to shelter the walks.

The path swings round to the south to become a terraced walk cut into the bank which rises above the beach, marked on Brown's plan as 'The Sea Bank with a Path of Gravell [sic] amongst the Furze Bushes etc'. It then leads through woodland, carefully contrived views giving glimpses of the sea. At the southern end of the gardens this coastal walk turns back northwards, looping round to return to the south-west front of the House as the walk marked on Brown's plan as 'A Path or Walk under the Hedge with Shrubs and Plants that will Grow'. In so doing it encloses a levelled area of lawn, broken by one large and one small clump of trees and shrubs. Between this lawn and the perimeter path is a band of shrubbery, fingers of lawn breaking through this serving to link the two.

To the south-west of the House, off the main walk, is a formal flower garden, hedged and divided into quarters. It is one of the features illustrated on Brown's plan.

Kitchen Garden

To the west of the House, beyond the coach house, is a walled garden built in the 1820s. It contains early C20 lean-to fruit houses and an apple store. Immediately to the north is a second, larger walled area laid out as a garden in the late C20.


  • Plan for the grounds of Boarn Hill Cottage, attributed to Lancelot Brown, c 1775 (private collection)


  • T Rowlandson, Copy of sketch of Cottage and foreshore, c 1790 (Mellon Collection, Yale University)
  • J Frey, Watercolour sketch of the Cottage looking south-west, 1792 (private collection)
  • C Fitter, The Cottage from the south, 1854 (private collection)
  • Watercolour of the Cottage from the east, 1858 (private collection)

Archival items

  • H Holland, Original plans and elevations of the Cottage, c 1775 (private collection)
  • Estimates for Building a Cottage at Bourne Hill on the old foundations, 1786 (private collection)
  • Plans with extensions of the second Cottage, 1803 (private collection)

Description rewritten: October 1999

Amended: March 2001

Register Inspector: KC

Edited: January 2004, January 2022

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The gardens are open by written appointment only to parties of 20 or more from May to July and September to October.


Mr and Mrs Aldred Drummond

Cadland House, SO45 1AA

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

18th Century

Up until the early C19 the site of Cadland House was relatively quiet and cut off, far from major roads and surrounded by marshes and heathlands, a haven for hunting and fishing which was the reason that Robert Drummond (d 1804) acquired the manor of Cadland in 1772. Later in the 1770s, Robert Drummond, senior partner of Drummonds Bank, called in Lancelot Brown (1716-83) and his son-in-law, Henry Holland (1745-1806), both customers of the bank, to design him a new house and park. This commission included the building known as 'The Sea Cottage' and then 'Boarn Hill Cottage', a fishing lodge set in pleasure grounds on the coast c 5km to the south of Cadland House, as the main house was then known.

Holland and Brown produced a bound book, dated 1775, of their designs for Cadland House and Boarn Hill Cottage and for the layout of the lands around both. The pleasure ground is essentially a miniature landscape park to a pattern used by Brown elsewhere on a far more expansive scale with perimeter belts, sheltered walk circuits, clumps, and scattered tree planting. The degree to which this unusual example of his work has survived at Cadland is notable. Substantial documentary and field research in 1982-5 provided the basis for a scheme of replanting and management drawn up by Hal Moggridge of Colvin and Moggridge.

19th Century

From 1833 onwards, Andrew Robert Drummond (1794-1865) extended the estate to the east by acquiring the neighbouring Eaglehurst estate, and linked Luttrell's Tower to the Cadland estate with ornamental drives and picturesque lodges. He thereby secured the seaboard between the southern and northern sections of the Cadland estate, which might otherwise have been threatened with C19 seaside development. He laid out new approaches to Boarn Hill Cottage from the north and undertook a series of improvements at Boarn Hill.

20th Century

Cadland House was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War, then acquired under the Defence of the Realm Act for an oil refinery and demolished in 1953. From 1953, the name was transferred to Boarn Hill Cottage, which over the years had been transformed into a substantial family home. The property remains (2022) in private ownership.


  • 18th Century (1701 to 1800)
  • Late 18th Century (1775 to 1799)
Associated People
Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens

  • Reference: GD1207
  • Grade: II*


  • Fishing Lodge (featured building)
  • Description: Remaining parts of this fishing cottage orné are encapsulated in the present Cadland House. For example, the cellar and some of the walls are in the same place as on the Holland drawings.
  • Earliest Date:
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


18th Century (1701 to 1800)





Open to the public


Civil Parish

Exbury and Lepe



Related Documents
  • CLS 1/292/1

    Restoration of Cadland Grounds - Digital copy

    Colvin and Moggridge - 1983

  • CLS 1/1105

    Restoration Plan on two sheets, also showing Lancelot Brown's original layout

    Colvin and Moggridge - 1982