Holly Mount (also known as The Hollies)6790

High Hurstwood, Wealden, East Sussex, England

Brief Description

In its original form Holly Mount can be regarded as a good example of an Edwardian country estate. Although its total area is now reduced to a more modest size, it still retains (for example with its pleasure gardens) some elements of its original character. Remaining features include ponds and fencing, although other features, such as the kitchen gardens, rose garden herbaceous borders and pergola are now gone.

History

The house was built around 1885 for Richard Hill, Lord of Walshes Manor, Jarvis Brook, East Sussex. At some time between 1898 and 1910 the garden was landscaped by a firm called Blackhouse.

Detailed Description

From the house-sale particulars of 1918 and also 1927 it can be seen that the estate then consisted of 34 acres, which included pleasure gardens, pastures, woodland, heathland and various estate cottages.

At 400 feet above sea level, this hilltop house lies on a north-east/south-west axis, enjoying extensive western views over countryside. As its trees continue to mature these views are becoming somewhat obscured. The house is stone-built with a tile-hung upper storey. The entrance drive originally approached the east side of the house and was lined with evergreens.

Encircling the house were the pleasure gardens which consisted of lawns, herbaceous borders, a rose garden and pergola, together with a tennis court, grass and gravel walks, plantings of rhododendrons, azaleas, shrubs and forest trees. There was also a water garden with two ponds and a large sunken garden with alpines. Attached to the house was a small, heated winter garden which measured approximately 22 x 22 feet.

To the north-west of the house the partly-walled kitchen garden consisted of a range of greenhouses, including two vineries, a peach and nectarine house, a melon house and a fernery. The water supply for the greenhouses was pumped from a well by means of a wind pump situated in a lower wooded area to the west of the house. An orchard existed to the west of the walled garden while to the north of the house was a small rock-lined quarry. This was probably used for gravel extraction. (Features shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1896.) Elsewhere was an area of heath with bracken and gorse.

Over the years the size of the estate has shrunk to just four acres. Since 1995 the position of the drive has been changed and is now situated further down the site at its south-eastern end. It has a new stone entrance gateway. The original evergreens that once lined the drive have disappeared.

There are lawns around the house but the herbaceous beds appear to have been replaced with more modern-looking island beds that have been cut into the lawn. There are no signs of either the rose garden or rose pergola. There are large hybrid specimens of rhododendrons and azalea, which are probably original. The trees have now grown into large, mature specimens, as have the shrubs. This side of the grounds is now far more enclosed. Grass paths have been cut into the lawns at some time and pass through the trees and shrubs. There do not appear to be many gravel paths. The large winter garden once attached to the house has also disappeared. The old quarry to the north is now quite enclosed with shrubs and trees while over its base there is a grass lawn.

The two ponds still exist and although the larger one is now dry, this may be restored at some time by its present owner. They are edged with good quality cut stone and there seems to have been a rockery, possibly planted with alpines, abutting the larger dried-up pond. This was once very open but it is now heavily shaded by trees and rhododendrons. There are paths around the boundaries of the ponds.

Just to the north-west of the dried-up pond is a strip of stone capping at ground level. This structure is shown on the 1910 Ordnance Survey map and to a lesser extent on 1995 Ordnance Survey map. Its purpose is not known.

To the west of the pleasure gardens and walled garden is a pasture and a small strip of woodland on the far western boundary. There are the remains of an iron Victorian boundary fence. In this woodland the water tank and wind pump, which once supplied the greenhouses, have both been removed. There are a few remaining fruit trees in the orchard. The walled kitchen garden was, at some time, sold off as a housing plot and consequently there does not seem to be anything surviving from the greenhouses and other features once in this area.

In its original form Hollymount can be regarded as a good example of an Edwardian country estate. Although its total area is now reduced to a more modest size, happily it still retains (for example with its pleasure gardens) some elements of its original character.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house was built around 1885 for Richard Hill, Lord of Walshes Manor, Jarvis Brook, East Sussex.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Drive
  • Description: Since 1995 the position of the drive has been changed
  • Earliest Date:
  • Gateway
  • Description: There is a new stone entrance gateway.
  • Lawn
  • Description: There are lawns around the house.
  • Island Bed
  • Description: The herbaceous beds appear to have been replaced with more modern-looking island beds that have been cut into the lawn.
  • Planting
  • Description: There are large hybrid specimens of rhododendrons and azalea, which are probably original.
  • Pond
  • Description: The two ponds still exist, although the larger one is now dry. They are edged with good quality cut stone
  • Fence
  • Description: There are the remains of an iron Victorian boundary fence.
  • Orchard
  • Description: There are a few remaining fruit trees in the orchard.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Buxted
History

Detailed History

The house was built around 1885 for Richard Hill, Lord of Walshes Manor, Jarvis Brook, East Sussex. It was known originally as The Hollies but by 1910 its name had changed to Hollymount. (See 1898 and 1910 Ordnance Survey maps.) At some time between 1898 and 1910 the garden was landscaped by a firm called Blackhouse. It is thought that Richard Hill's wife was a keen gardener. Richard Hill died in 1910 and it seems that his widow rented the house to Sir Henry Cusack Wingfield Hawley, 6th Baronet. (Kelly's Handbook 1913.) The house was sold in 1918 and then again in 1927. Today, it is still in use as a private residence.
References

Contributors

  • Sussex Gardens Trust