Lime House 5717

Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England, East Sussex, Wealden

Brief Description

The site has a Victorian mansion house surrounded by gardens and park. Although outside the boundary of Herstmonceux itself and less significant than the Castle, it is of local importance. Its location, house and grounds make an important contribution to the village of Herstmonceux, both in terms of its history and in more modern scenic terms.

History

Lime Park was initially a farmhouse outside the boundary of Herstmonceux Castle itself. The current house was built by the Gillon family in 1821.

Detailed Description

The First Edition of the Ordnance Survey map shows extensive water in front of the house. This pond, mentioned by Augustus Hare, is fed by a stream running from the north-north-east, clearly visible on the Tithe map. This stream was fed by a spring (See OS 1:2,500. lst edition 56/11 East Sussex Record Office). The map also shows orchards, conifers and other species trees in grass. There is a Lodge by Chapel Row and another at Gardener Street end. To west and south the grounds are surrounded by marshy parkland. By the time of the second Ordnance Surbey map, the property has acquired a kitchen garden and glass houses.

By the 1909 Ordnance Survey map the stream and spring seem to have disappeared.

Major Roemer died in August 1931. An estate valuation the same year mentions the following features in the grounds:

Tennis court: Croquet lawn. Five Stables. 5 Loose boxes. Coach House. Garage. Summer House and Vinery. Two Tomato Houses.

Summary: Lime Park 4,000. Marsh & Park: 17,000. Woodland 250. Shooting Rights also valued.

In 1936 acres 384 acres of the estate were sold by a George Herbert Green, but not including Lime Park itself (Refs: AMS6402, Lime Park Estate. BUR 2/2/1040).

Features at that time were:

Gate Lodge (The East Lodge) Grade II listed, Pool, Building

The Park is now divided into several plots with different owners.

Images

Drawing of Lime in Augustus Hare: 1834-43, p. 20

Enclosed, above drawing. OS maps and Tithe map.

Site designation(s)

The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building Grade II Reference East Lodge.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: East Lodge.
  • Building
  • Description: This is the Lime Park Estate Generating Station, comprising the fragmented survival of an estate power house. It was the installation of Baron von Roehmer by his chief engineer, Albert Saunders.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Pool
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Herstmonceux
History

Detailed History

There was a freehold of Herstmonceux Manor called Lyme.

By 1655 the ‘site of the Manor of Lime with its lands, meadows and pastures in Herstmonceux' was mentioned. In estate papers of 1820 the site is described as ‘farmhouse, gardens, orchards, fishponds, stews, barn, two stables, pig pound etc.' (Reference: Wartling Tenement Analysis pp 23-65).

In 1819 Herstmonceux Castle was purchased with funds from the estate of the late John Gillon to provide William Downe Gillon MP with property. He was the son of Lt. Col Andrew Gillon of Wallhouse and Mary Anne, of Downe Hall, Dorset and was provided for in the will of his father's first cousin, John Gillon of Dominica and Welbeck Street, Marylebone, that he might buy landed (sic) property, plus an annuity of £500 for life. Thus he became the owner of the Herstmonceux Castle estate.

In 1821, William Downe Gillon purchased the property known as Lime from the estate of the late Robert Rosam in Herstmonceux and built a house suitable for the gentry (East Sussex Record Office, ref: AAB11/12). It was contained within its own park, now in separate ownership. The Castle was a ruin at this date so Lime House, as it became, would have provided a suitable house for him. His family estate was Wallhouse at Linlithgow.

William Downe Gillon (1801-1846) is provided with a substantial biography in www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832. This particularly covers his parliamentary career.

An 1839 Tithe award (Reference TDE 89) notes Lime House, buildings and 105 acres with 8.5 acres of wood. There were also 20 acres in the north-west part marked in a 1683 map as Lime Park.

At this time, according to the Tithe Map Apportionment document, the land was still owned by William Downe Gillon who continued to own Herstmonceux Castle but let Lime Park to tenants. The Castle remained in a ruined state.

The author Augustus Hare lived at Lime House from his early childhood, from around 1834 until 1859. The Wartling Tenement Analysis describes the house as ‘a large rambling Victorian mansion'. Augustus Hare's description is more lyrical.

The following is taken from ‘The Years with Mother' by Augustus J.C.Hare, an abridgement of the three-volume ‘Story of My Life', published by Allen & Unwin in 1952, pp. 14-15:

Augustus moved from the Rectory to Lime ‘our own dear home for the next five and twenty years. The old white gabled house with clustered chimneys and roofs rich in colour rose in a brilliant flower garden sheltered on every side by trees and separated in each direction by several fields from the high road or the lanes. On the side towards the Rectory a drive between close walls of laurel led to the old-fashioned porch ... the drawing room and dining room looked across the lawn and one of the great glittering pools which belonged to an old monastery (once on the side of the house) and which lay at the foot of a very steep bank carpeted with primroses in spring. Beyond the pool was our high field over which the stumpy spire of the church could be seen at about a half a mile distance, cutting the silver line of the sea. (The castle was not visible). On the right side of the lawn a grass walk behind a shrubbery looked out upon the wide expanse of Pevensey level ... and was sheltered by the immensely tall abele trees known as the ‘Five Sisters of Lime.'

In 1860 Thomas Arkcoll bought the property from William Gillon's son Andrew and the Arkcoll family remained there until 1909.

The next owner was Baron von Roehmer of Stuttgart. After World War 1, in 1918, he changed his name to Major Charles Henry de Roemer JP.

Created in 1909, the Lime Park Generating Station comprising the fragmented survival of an estate power house remains. It was the idea of Baron von Roehmer and constructed by his chief engineer, Albert Saunders. The station supplied the people in the village, according to a newspaper report of 1913, and was replaced by mains power in 1920. The steam engine and generating machinery were then moved to Herstmonceux Castle. Survivals include a twin-gabled wooden building later clad with corrugated iron. The interior has a King-post roof and traces of ground floor features. In an open area to the north are extensive foundations and mounting blocks for the lost auxiliary steam engine and boilers. The survival of a timber power house is rare. These features are now on Historic England's Monument Protection Programme.

After 1952, the main house was divided into four smaller units to form a terraced row of houses. The former stables were converted to residential use.

In 1982 the generating buildings were separated from Lime.

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here
References

References

Contributors

  • Barbara Abbs

    1

  • Sussex Gardens Trust

  • Sally Walker

    1