The gardens of Cliddesden Down House are an example of a good-sized village rectory grounds which have been adapted in the 20th century to gardens of horticultural interest but easy maintenance. The mature trees and shrubs are their glory. The gardens are of little historical interest but they retain an importance locally within a Village Conservation Area context.
The Rectory was constructed at the turn of the 19th century as a substantial village house with a modest two acres of garden surrounding it. In the 1970s, under the ownership of Mr Michael Peto (a distant descendant of Harold Peto) the garden was restored and new energy was introduced.
Cliddesden Down House, a late-eighteenth-century or early-nineteenth-century house known formerly as the Rectory, is situated about one mile south of Basingstoke in the conservation area of the village of Cliddesden. It lies south of the M3 on th1e Farleigh Road which passes from Basingstoke through the Candover Valley towards Alresford. The surrounding landscape is predominately agricultural with open views over chalk downland.
Recent satellite photographs and views from the public road suggest that the gardens are still landscaped much as they were during Michael Peto's time but the current owners are engaged in an exercise of considered restoration.
Paterson, A. (ed) 1978 Gardens of England, Batsford
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
38M82/99 Sale particulars Knight Frank Rutley June 2001
HPP38/0157 Photo Cliddesden Terry Hunt c. 1915
134M87/85/13 Aerial Photo ref 4630:14990; 1964
Red Box for Cliddesden: January 1982 Lane Fox Sale particulars
All other maps from HCC/HGT database
Detailed description contributed by Hampshire Gardens Trust 16/04/2015
Since the 15th century the Wallop family of Farleigh have been Lords of the Manor of Cliddesden and the Earls of Portsmouth have held the advowson of Cliddesden church. The Rectory was constructed at the turn of the nineteenth century as a substantial village house with a modest two acres of garden surrounding it. The gardens were in two parts: a large lawn dominated by a copper beech tree and a level plateau, sheltered by hedges and quartered by stone paths. Some existing walls suggest that there may have been a small walled garden but this has not been established. Frequent changes of rector are not indicative of strong interest in garden design and in this case it would appear that the elderly incumbent during the Second World War was not in a position to maintain the gardens in any style. In the 1970s, under the owner ship of Mr Michael Peto (a distant descendant of Harold Peto) the garden was restored and new energy was introduced. For a while the garden was opened to the public and featured in the RHS Gardens of England series. Since around 2004 the owners of the property have improved some of the ancillary buildings and increased the numbers of trees in the grounds.
Detailed history contributed by Hampshire Gardens Trust 16/04/2015
Hampshire Gardens Trust