Merdon Manor 5031

Hursley, England, Hampshire, Winchester

Brief Description

The gardens and park at Merdon Manor were created in the 1920s. Features of the garden include a secret walled water garden, ha-ha, herbaceous borders, panoramic views and a fishpond.

History

Merdon Manor was originally a farm dating back to the 16th century. In the 1920s, Merdon became the home of Captain George Cooper, heir to Hursley Park. Extensive alterations were made to the house and a garden was created befitting that of a manor. Gertrude Jekyll prepared plans for a rectangular garden but they were not followed.

Detailed Description

Today there are still reminders that this was once a working farm. The two large barns stand behind the house and in front of them the old farmyard is now a garden where a large fishpond has been created. The designs of the early-20th-century have been well-maintained. More modern features such as the swimming pool have been discreetly placed. Further tree planting has not obscured the vistas, but has provided more shelter for both house and garden.
Features
  • Rose Border
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  • Lawn
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  • Fishpond
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  • Hedge
  • Description: There are lines of clipped yew hedges.
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  • Ha-ha
  • Description: On the south side, the view extended imperceptibly from lawns to fields across a ha-ha.
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  • Planting
  • Description: A sunken water garden, surrounded by tender species and enclosed by barn walls, became a unique feature.
House
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Hursley
History

Detailed History

The first reference to Merdon Manor on its present site was in the 16th century. However, it developed as a farm rather than a landed estate and so any garden was insignificant. This changed in the 1920s when Merdon became the home of Captain George Cooper, heir to Hursley Park. Extensive alterations were made to the house and a garden was created befitting that of a manor. Gertrude Jekyll prepared plans for a rectangular garden but they were not followed.

The gardens that did develop took advantage of the fine vistas across the chalk downs. On the south side, the view extended imperceptibly from lawns to fields across a ha-ha. The lines of clipped yew hedges and rose borders added emphasis. On the north side the siting of steps and tree borders enhanced the vista. This formality gave way to informal areas of woodland through which another scenic view could be seen to the west. In contrast, a sunken water garden, surrounded by tender species and enclosed by barn walls, became a unique feature.

Period

  • Early 20th Century