Compton End 905

Winchester, England, Hampshire, Winchester

Brief Description

Compton End has gardens of half a hectare, laid out between 1895 and 1914 (approximately). The gardens were created by architect George Herbert Kitchin, to surround the farmhouse he had converted into his home.

History

Compton End dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, during which time the house was a farmhouse. Between 1895 and about 1914, G.H. Kitchin restored and extended the house and designed and laid out the surrounding gardens.

Terrain

The garden land falls gently to the south and there are views to the wooded hanger which rises steeply some 200 metres south of the garden.

Detailed Description

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 The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

A garden of formal hedged compartments, laid out in the Arts and Crafts tradition between 1895 and about 1914 by the architect G H Kitchin RIBA, to surround the 17th-century house which he restored and made his home until his death in 1951.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Compton End stands on the south side of the extreme western end of Compton Street, the main street running east to west through Compton village which is situated c 3km south of Winchester, west of the M3. Compton Street forms the northern boundary of the 0.5ha registered garden, the eastern boundary abuts a neighbouring house [map shows the property immed to the E within the reg boundary, but I¿m wondering if this is correct, as there is no mention in the descrip of this property], and the southern and western boundaries are enclosed by hedging from surrounding farmland. The garden land falls gently to the south and there are views to the wooded hanger which rises steeply some 200m south of the garden.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

A gravelled drive enters from Compton Street and follows an L-shaped curve, across the site of a former barn, to the west front of the house, while a short length of flagged footpath, lined with borders, leads from the road to the front door on the north front.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

Compton End (listed grade II*) stands roughly centrally and c 8m back from its road frontage. The two-storey, timber-framed building with brick infill panels and a thatched roof dates from the C17, with the two-bay east front being added in the C18. The house had been converted to two cottages before being restored and extended by G H Kitchin from 1895. He added a garden room with a balcony above to the south front and built a new entrance hall, with a room above, on the north front, which replaced the former main entrance at the porch on the east front. On the north side, between the house and the road, a C17 timber-framed barn with a thatched roof (listed grade II) is the only surviving barn from the former farm.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUND

The gardens to the south and east of the house are laid out in a series of formal compartments, the whole being surrounded with clipped hedges, principally of yew and box. The porch on the east front opens onto a paved apron from which a narrow, axial brick walk leads eastwards to the garden boundary of young conifers; behind these are mature cypress on the east boundary. The walk is flanked by herbaceous borders set in lawn and by high yew hedges topped with topiary domes and pierced by arched openings at the halfway points. The walk, together with the open lawn to its north, which was levelled and laid out as an orchard lawn, were the first sections of the garden to be laid out.

On the south side of the walk and enclosed within a square of clipped yew is the Pond Garden, which was laid out c 1914, the material from the excavation of the pond being used to level the natural southward slope of the surrounding area (CL 1919). The central square, stone-edged pond is surrounded by beds set in turf. West of the Pond Garden, the garden room on the south side of the house opens onto a geometric parterre of brick paving and low box hedging, intended for bedding displays. Immediately to the south, stone steps from both the parterre and the Pond Garden lead down into the Rockery Garden, through which runs a narrow east to west dell with a winding path, small stone-lined pools, and an ivy bower. The dell and Rockery are planted with rock plants and shrubs.

On the south side of the Rockery Garden, stone-edged beds with mixed planting border a rectangular croquet lawn which is further enclosed on the east, west, and south sides by tall clipped yew hedging. The centre point of the south side is occupied by a small, square, single-storey summerhouse (listed grade II) with a tall hipped roof and faced with rendered brick colourwashed in a shade of warm pink. This was designed and built by G H Kitchin c 1920 at the same time as the laying out of the croquet lawn on the site of an earlier wild garden (garden plan in CL 1919). Steps either side of the summerhouse lead south down into a cut-flower garden to the east and to an orchard lawn to the west, planted with fruit and other trees, shrubs, and bulbs, which extends up the west side of the site to the gravelled forecourt.

REFERENCES

Victoria History of the County of Hampshire III, (1908), pp 122-3

Country Life, 46 (23 August 1919), pp 240-8

Homes and Gardens, (June 1919), pp 2-4

H Avery Tipping, Gardens of Today (1933), p 21

D Ottewill, Edwardian Gardens (1989), pp 199, 216 note 52

OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition revised 1896; 3rd edition revised 1919; 1932 edition

Archival items

Photograph albums, diaries and other material relating to G H Kitchen's work (private collection)

Description written: March 1999

Amended: July 2001

Edited: January 2004

Features

Style

  • Arts And Crafts
  • House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Compton and
History

Detailed History

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 The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Compton End dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, the house forming, until the late 19th century, the farmhouse to a farm known as Dummer’s Farm (Ordnance Survey 1896). It was acquired in 1894 by George Herbert Kitchin RIBA (around 1871-1951), a son of Dean Kitchen, Dean of Durham from 1894, and an architect working in the Arts and Crafts tradition (diaries; Ottewill 1989). Between 1895 and about 1914, Kitchin restored and extended the house and designed and laid out the surrounding gardens, these being illustrated by H Avery Tipping in Gardens of Today (1933) and their plan used to decorate the book's endpapers. In 1951, Compton End was inherited by Kitchin's nephew, Captain G A de G Kitchin, CBE RN. The gardens were maintained as designed although the extent was reduced slightly in 1955 by the sale of about 0.2 hectares along the eastern boundary. Compton End was sold in 1993 and remains (1999) in private ownership.

Associated People

Just one person associated to Compton End

Contact
References

References