The Manor House, Upton Grey 2216

Basingstoke, England, Hampshire, Basingstoke and Deane

Brief Description

This is a garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll surrounding an Arts and Crafts style manor house. Features include a formal garden enclosed by yew hedges, a wild garden, a rose garden, wide herbaceous borders, a tennis lawn, terraces, dry stone walls and an oak pergola.

History

The house, which dates from the late-15th century, was enlarged and restored by Ernest Newton in 1906-7 for Charles Holme, founder of The Studio magazine. The grounds around it were completely reworked by Gertrude Jekyll. A restoration scheme started in 1984 involved rebuilding the drystone walls which had become unstable in part and progressively sourcing and replanting the varieties of plant used by Jekyll.

Visitor Facilities

The gardens are open by appointment only on weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) in May, June, July and September. http://www.gertrudejekyllgarden.co.uk/

Detailed Description

There are two main areas: the Formal Garden and the Wild Garden. The former is to the east of the house and is surrounded by yew hedges, along which run herbaceous borders. The original grass slopes from the house were made into terraces supported by dry stone walls by Jekyll.

The Wild Garden lies to the west of the house with mown grass paths and a pond, planted with shrubs, trees and native plants.

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

Early 20th-century gardens laid out by Gertrude Jekyll to complement a small country house designed by Ernest Newton in the Arts and Craft style. Gardens restored from 1984 onwards, following Jekyll’s planting schemes.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

The village of Upton Grey lies some 8km east of Basingstoke, on a north-east-facing slope of the North Downs. The Manor House lies immediately to the north-east of St Mary's church, set back off the Tunworth to South Warnborough road. The gardens of 1.6ha surround the House on its west, north, and east sides, being bounded to the west by the Tunworth to South Warnborough road, to the north by the range of buildings and enclosures of Manor Farm, and to the east by open fields.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

A short curved drive leads off the Tunworth to South Warnborough road through an avenue of horse chestnuts to a forecourt on the west side of the House. A footpath from the south side of the forecourt leads through a gate to the churchyard. At the east end of the site, the formal gardens are delimited from a cross-country footpath leading through the village by a mature hedgerow.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

The Manor House (listed grade II) is oriented north to south, in the centre of a roughly rectangular site on an east-facing hillside. Ernest Newton, who lived locally, converted part of an existing building of C16/C17 origin, incorporating it into a new Arts and Crafts house. The entrance front lies on the west side where the tall, central timber-framed entrance porch dominates the forecourt. The garden front on the east side has a central timber-framed bay which provides a focus to the formal gardens.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The gardens fall into three distinct areas on the west, north, and east of the House.

To the west lies the Wild Garden. A pair of iron gates opens through the low brick wall of the forecourt into the area. Here a series of three low, curved grass steps lead onto a lawn rising gently westwards to a small duck pond and rockery, with the parish church to the south and the drive to the north. The Wild Garden has been replanted (late C20) following Gertrude Jekyll's design, the only plants there not specified by Jekyll being some modern varieties of daffodil. Snowdrops, primroses, oxslips, cowslips, wood anemones, scilla, muscari, and fritillaria survive from earlier garden plantings. The design is informal and naturalistic with winding paths and island beds laid out following gently flowing and curved lines.

In contrast, the gardens to the east of the Manor House are formal. The gardens are composed of a series of three east-facing terraces which have been replanted using Jekyll's plans (Reef Point Collection). On the top terrace the central axis of the gardens is lined by a simple pergola of wooden oak posts hung with ship's ropes leading from the timber-framed bay of the House. This provides a central focus to the scheme as seen from the lower garden terraces, and from this top garden terrace there are views out over the gardens to the wider countryside beyond. From a terrace running the length of the House, paths lead off at right angles to run the length of long herbaceous borders, sheltered on their outer sides by yew hedges. From this upper level there are also views down onto the lower garden terraces. These main borders have dramatic colouring in late summer, designed by Jekyll with drifts of herbaceous plants whose colours move from cool blues and whites at either end of the borders through warm yellows and oranges to fiery reds situated in the central sections of the borders.

Shallow stone steps lead from the pergola down to the Rose Lawn, which Jekyll designed using formal geometric beds around square, stone-flagged planters. The planting here is in softer colours, soft pinks and greys in the outer borders framing the compartment and the formal geometric rose beds planted with varieties of rose specified by Jekyll. The upper two terraces are supported by drystone retaining walls which Jekyll also specified to be planted to give the effect of vertical flower beds.

From the Rose Lawn a further flight of steps leads to the Bowling and Tennis Lawns, at the lowest level of the gardens. The narrow bowling green is divided from the yew-hedged tennis lawn by a drystone wall (1997), shown on Jekyll's plan but unexecuted by Holme.

The formal gardens are bounded by more informal areas to their south and north-west. In the southern area stands a small nuttery with regularly coppiced hazel trees and to the north-west of the formal gardens there is an orchard.

KITCHEN GARDEN

The late C20 kitchen garden area lies to the north of the formal gardens and also acts as a nursery area for raising plants for use in the formal gardens. The Gardener's Cottage, converted from the former stables, occupies an area to the north of the House.

REFERENCES

A Tankard and van Valkenburgh, Gertrude Jekyll: A Vision of Garden & Wood (1989)

Hampshire Gardens Trust Journal 8, (1989)

R Bisgrove, The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll (1992), pp 55-63

R Wallinger, Gertrude Jekyll's Lost Garden: The Restoration of an Edwardian Masterpiece (2000)

Description & Guide to Gertrude Jekyll's 1908 Garden, guidebook, (Manor House, Upton Grey, no date)

Maps

OS 6" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1910

Description rewritten: November 1999

Amended: June 2001

Edited: February 2004

Features

Style

  • Arts And Crafts
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Description: The late-15th century house was restored by Newton in 1906-7.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Wilderness
  • Description: There is a wild garden area.
Orchard
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The gardens are open by appointment only on weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) in May, June, July and September. http://www.gertrudejekyllgarden.co.uk/

Directions

The gardens lie east of the A339 between Winslade and Herriard.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Upton Grey
History

Detailed History

The Manor House in Upton Grey dates from the late 15th century but was in disrepair when acquired by Charles Holme around 1902. He commissioned Ernest Newton to restore the house, which was completed by 1907 and Gertrude Jekyll to create a new garden the following year.

By the time the present owners had acquired the site in 1984, the site was almost derelict with few of the original plants remaining. Complete restoration, using Jekyll's planting plans, was conducted over the next four years.

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Charles Holme, after spending his early career in textile manufacture, became interested in the work of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 1870s and 1880s. His success in the wool trade enabled him to retire from business in 1892, aged forty-four, and the following year he founded The Studio magazine. He edited this magazine which aimed to show that the applied arts were as valuable and interesting as the fine arts. Holme moved from The Red House, Bexley the house built for William Morris by Philip Webb, to the old house at Upton Grey which he had bought in 1906. In 1907 Holme commissioned Ernest Newton to enlarge the house. The grounds around it were completely reworked by Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) who in 1908-09 provided detailed planting plans and supplied some of the specified plants from her own nursery gardens at Munstead Wood (see the description of this site elsewhere in the Register), Surrey. Despite a succession of private owners the design and layout of the gardens have scarcely changed. A restoration scheme started in 1984 involved rebuilding the drystone walls which had become unstable in part and progressively sourcing and replanting the varieties of plant used by Jekyll. The site remains (1999) in private ownership.

Period

  • Early 20th Century (1901-1932)
Associated People

People associated to The Manor House, Upton Grey

Contact
References

References