Longstock House 4909

Stockbridge, England, Hampshire, Test Valley

Brief Description

This is an 81 hectare estate on the west-facing slopes of the River Test. The parkland, which is planted with specimen trees, runs down to the road which separates it from the water gardens and river. A commercial nursery is run from the glasshouses and walled garden. The site is planted with native trees and exotics.

History

The house and gardens, on the northern edge of the estate, were created in the mid-19th century. The water gardens, which began as a lake created by the dredging of gravel from the river bank, were developed into a five acre archipelago in the 1950s by John Spedan Lewis. Lewis was advised by the botanist Terry Jones. Since the 1940s the site has been owned by the John Lewis Partnership and used by them as a country retreat.

Visitor Facilities

The site has some charity open days through the summer. Please see: http://www.longstockpark.co.uk/visitfs.htm

Detailed Description

The parkland around the house includes an extensive arboretum with rare conifers and deciduous trees, a great curving lawn with a huge liriodendron, lean-to greenhouses and walled kitchen gardens which are now used to display the plants grown by Longstock Nurseries, a commercial enterprise.

Nearer the house are terraces and herbaceous borders. Sales particulars from 1913 describe the kitchen gardens and pleasure grounds as ‘acknowledged to be the finest around'.

The parkland is separated from the River Test by a public road. Across road are the famous water-gardens.

In 1870 the extraction of gravel from the banks of the Test to make a road in the park created a lake. This formed the basis for the design of these gardens. Developed by John Spedan Lewis and his butler, with advice from botanist Terry Jones, they now cover a five acre archipelago, comprising small and large islands connected by bridges and linked by grass causeways.The gardens are fed by the river Test, the flow controlled by sluice gates and the water returned to the river. The lakes and pools are teeming with golden carp.

The gardens are planted with native trees and exotics, which thrive in the damp conditions. These include the swamp cypress, cut leaved alder and Betula Costata. Beyond the water areas, a woodland garden has been developed to provide for less aquatic species including blue poppy, giant white lily, Stewartia Pseudocamellia as well as rhododendron, azalea, enkianthus, camellia, embothrium and lilium.

The storms of 1987 and 1990 toppled and damaged over 70 mature trees. Some were successfully righted and the initial concept retained.

Features
  • Ornamental Lake
  • Description: In 1870 the extraction of gravel from the banks of the Test to make a road in the park created a lake.
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  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: Sales particulars from 1913 describe the kitchen gardens and pleasure grounds as `acknowledged to be the finest around?.
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  • Terrace
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  • Herbaceous Border
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  • House (featured building)
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  • Water Feature
  • Description: Water gardens, developed by John Spedan Lewis and his butler, with advice from botanist Terry Jones. They now cover a five acre archipelago, comprising small and large islands connected by bridges and linked by grass causeways. The gardens are fed by the river Test, the flow controlled by sluice gates and the water returned to the river. The lakes and pools are teeming with golden carp.
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  • Planting
  • Description: Woodland garden.
  • River
  • Description: River Test
Glasshouse
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The site has some charity open days through the summer. Please see: http://www.longstockpark.co.uk/visitfs.htm
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Longstock
History

Detailed History

Longstock House and Park, an estate of nearly 81 hectares (200 acres), lies on the west slopes of the Test Valley, three miles north of Stockbridge and roughly 200 feet above sea level. Owned since the 1940s by the John Lewis Partnership and now part of the Leckford Estate, it is used by executives from the partnership as a country retreat.

Period

  • Victorian (1837-1901)
Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • John Lewis Partnership