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Freshford Manor 1374

Brief Description

Freshford Manor has a secluded, informal garden, dating chiefly from the 19th century.

History

Originally the site was a joint manorship of Robert and Alrick. Before the dissolution the site was given to the Carthusians. Henry VIII took the estate for crown property during the dissolution. When the present owners bought the property in 1956 it was derelict. It has been much-improved since.

Terrain

Sloping

Detailed Description

The house is approached via a lime-lined drive that curves round to the present main entrance. There is possibly a well nearby, but as it has not been excavated or investigated that cannot be proven. However, there was a tree planted on the postulated site of the well which sank gradually over the years, leading to the conclusion that there was a well beneath.

A path leads around the north side of the house to an area which was probably a vegetable patch, but access to this area was restricted at the time of the survey. This area was obscured by privet hedging which also bordered the pleasure garden. The latter is now terraced, though still sloping considerably. In the north-east corner there is a summerhouse, which may be a converted icehouse. Along a terrace to the south there is a rockery containing a large stone table (see features). From here, looking back towards the house, the conservatory can be seen.

Freshford Manor garden was in a state of dereliction when it was acquired by the present owners in 1956. Since this time the owners, who are keen gardeners, have planted many species of trees and generally improved the site. It is now in a very good condition.

Features

Style

  • Informal
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Description: The earliest part of the house is Queen Anne (earliest 18th century). It was much built on in the 19th century. On the eastern elevation there is a sundial, built around 1800.
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  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: Lime avenue.
  • Terrace
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  • Summerhouse
  • Description: The summerhouse may be a converted icehouse.
  • Garden Table
  • Description: The stone table is possibly late 18th or early 19th century in date. It is a large stone slab approximately 3.6 metres x 1.8 metres. It stands on six stone legs.
  • Conservatory
  • Description: An example of Victorian glass and iron work with a timber base.
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  • Sundial
  • Description: On the eastern elevation of the house there is a sundial, built around 1800.
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Drive, Rockery
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Freshford
History

Detailed History

Originally the site was a joint manorship of Robert and Alrick, where Robert lived in a small manor house. Before the dissolution, the Countess of Salisbury, who had founded the Hinton Priory, gave the property to the Carthusians.

However, Henry VIII took the estate for crown property during the dissolution. He then gave it to various lords for services rendered. Eventually the Methuens came to live at the property. In the early 19th century, Sir William Napier rented the property from the Methuens.

Before the 20th century, much of Freshford village was owned by the inhabitants of the manor, but over the years the size was considerably reduced to around 1.4 hectares. In 1955, it was around 4.8 hectares, which included a walled kitchen garden which was sold separately.

When the present owners bought the property in 1956 it was derelict. They have done much to improve the garden, retaining the 19th century concrete reproductions of lead statues that lead to the rockery. The lawn was not terraced before 1956, but was merely a steep bank to the rockery and boundary wall. There has also been much planting since the 1950s. The conservatory (built 1860-70) has been retained. Nearby on the house wall there are some magnolias which may be 150 years old or more.

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References