Chestham Park 5178

Henfield, England, West Sussex, Horsham

Brief Description

The parkland was developed in the mid-18th-century. Percy Cane was employed in the 1960s to re-design the gardens. There was an avenue of limes but no cohesive plan for the garden. Cane designed a new forecourt which introduced a vista of the park.

History

In 1702 John Norton of Twineham bought some property near the Chess Brook as well as 'Easthouse in Chestham'. A nephew, Henry Wood, inherited in 1757, and his son John built 'a competent mansion (on the site of the former house) and now resides here'.

Detailed Description

Percy Cane was employed in the 1960s to re-design the gardens when the estate was owned by Prince Littler, a theatre impresario. There was an avenue of limes but no cohesive plan for the garden.

Cane designed a new forecourt which introduced a vista of the park. To the south he opened the link between the house and the lawn. To the east he introduced a new turf walk and herbaceous borders, leading to beds of azaleas and lilies. A new rose garden was enclosed in yew hedges and a round lily pool with a fountain in a sunken garden, surrounded by lawn and then shrub planting. The pool was fed with a watercourse from a nearby spring.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house, an attractive building of the Regency period, was constructed between 1816 and 1830 and appears on the Tithe Map.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: Avenue of limes.
  • Walk
  • Description: Raised turf walk.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Herbaceous Border
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Rose Garden
  • Description: A new rose garden was enclosed in yew hedges and a round lily pool with a fountain in a sunken garden, surrounded by lawn and then shrub planting.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pool
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Fountain
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Henfield
History

Detailed History

Candole (1976) says that Chestham was an outlying hamlet of Henfield parish, north of the Chess Brook, with which the name is presumably connected. In 1702 John Norton of Twineham bought some property there as well as 'Easthouse in Chestham'. A nephew, Henry Wood, inherited in 1757, and his son John built 'a competent mansion (on the site of the former house) and now resides here'.

In 1795 there was a hamlet comprising a few houses west of the site of the future house. The Park itself was formed by the gradual addition of the fields towards the west, and absorbed many of these smaller cottages and gardens. Around 1844-1845 it comprised 40 acres. About six buildings survived in the 1840s and are shown on the Tithe Map (1845). However, the Plan of Chestham Park dates to 1875 and does not show these houses.

The house, an attractive building of the Regency period, was constructed between 1816 and 1830 and appears on the Tithe Map. Chestham Park was then noted for its trees. There was still a magnificent oak on the front lawn in 1976. John Wood died in 1830 (he has a monument in Henfield Church) but his wife Lucretia lived to an advanced age until 1860. In 1837 Mrs Lucretia Wood owned 15% of Henfield Parish. Since 1837 the property has been sold many times.

The Victoria County History says that in 1983 the park remained open pasture with some isolated trees and a tree-lined avenue leading to the house.

Associated People

Just one person associated to Chestham Park