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The Court House (also known as Court Farm)

Introduction

The site has a medieval court house at the centre of a huge estate belonging to the Bishop of Winchester. It was sold in 1647 and then used as an ordinary farmhouse until bought in 1926 by Morley Horder who restored the house as his family home and laid out the formal gardens, much of which remains today.

In 1926 the property was bought by Morley Horder, an Arts and Crafts architect, who restored the house and laid out the gardens on three sides of the house. A stone terrace was built up on the west and south sides of the house with stone steps down into the gardens. To the west of the house was a formal garden with yew hedges, herbaceous borders and lawns. There were orchards to the south-west and east and a kitchen garden to the north-east.

The Court House is now a Grade I listed building and Court House Cottage Grade II. Most of the old farm buildings except the thatched barn now used as a garage have disappeared. The main structure of Morley Horder's garden remains, with mature yew hedges neatly clipped with pyramid shapes as topiary. The whole garden is surrounded by old flint walls of various heights.

History

The Court House was a medieval ecclesiastical court house. It was at the centre of a huge estate of 19,000 acres belonging to the Bishop of Winchester. It was rebuilt in 1395-7, by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, on the site of an earlier building and this is the building which still stands today.

Early documents mention a gatehouse, dovecote, two gardens and a vineyard, as well as barns, a tithe barn and a granary. The gatehouse existed until at least 1950. In the 16th century a timber-framed farmhouse was attached on the east side. In 1647 The Court House was sold, although the rest of the Manor remained with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners until the mid-19th-century.

From the 17th century to the 1920s it was used as an ordinary farm, surrounded by farm buildings, the large medieval fishpond and a midden, and with farm workers living in the house. About 1770 the thatched Court House Cottage was built and is now attached to the main house but has its own garden.

Period

Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Associated People
Features & Designations

Designations

  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: Court House Cottage
  • Grade: II
  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: The Court House
  • Grade: I

Style

Formal

Features

  • Terrace
  • Description: Morley Horder built a stone terrace to the west and south sides of the house.
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  • Herbaceous Border
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  • Lawn
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  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: A kitchen garden was created to the north-east of the house.
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  • Orchard
  • Description: Orchards were laid out to the south-west and east of the house.
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  • Court House (featured building)
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  • Garden Wall
  • Description: The whole garden is surrounded by old flint walls of various heights.
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  • Garden Building
  • Description: About 1770 the thatched Court House Cottage was built and is now attached to the main house but has its own garden.
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  • Hedge
  • Description: There are mature yew hedges neatly clipped with pyramid shapes as topiary.
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  • Topiary
  • Description: Pyramid topiary.
Key Information

Type

Garden

Purpose

Ornamental

Principal Building

Domestic / Residential

Period

Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Survival

Part: ground/below ground level remains

Hectares

1

Civil Parish

East Meon

References

Contributors

  • Hampshire Gardens Trust

  • Jean East