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Oaklee

Introduction

The house was built between 1902 and 1907 for Kate Leslie. Leslie was a close friend of Gertrude Jekyll, who was commissioned to design the garden. Features included a kitchen garden, large lawn, holly plantings and a narrow bowling green. The house was adapted into flats in 1973. It is run by Mid-Sussex District Council and used for retirement housing.

‘Oaklee' is a substantial Edwardian house standing in Compton Road, Lindfield. This is a tree- lined residential road which runs parallel with the High Street. The house is partly tile- hung over pebble-dashed walls, has small-paned casement windows and is L-shaped in plan. It stands on the north-north-eastern boundary of the plot. Directly opposite on the other side of the road is ‘Littlecote', another of Kate Leslie's properties.

Gertrude Jekyll's garden design of 1907 shows only half of the garden. From this it can be seen that near the house was a kitchen garden, laid out with formal paths, beds and planted with soft fruit. Further to the south-west was a large lawn while on the plot's eastern boundary, adjoining Compton Road, plantings of holly trees and a hedge of Thuja arbour-vitae are shown. A narrow bowling green is marked on the north-west boundary.

Due to the lack of evidence, we have been unable to establish if this garden plan was ever carried out.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Owners

Mid Sussex District Council

Oaklands Oaklands Road Haywards Heath West Sussex, RH16 1SS
History

‘Oaklee' was built between 1902 and 1907 for Kate Leslie and was one of several houses she had constructed in Lindfield. (see ‘Cotmaton'and ‘Littlecote').

Kate Leslie was a close friend of Gertrude Jekyll who in 1907 was commissioned to design its garden. (Reef Point Collection, File Ill, Folder 58 - dated 1908 - Item 2. However, Item 1 of this folder, although marked as ‘Oaklee', appears to be another property entirely - see ‘Cotmaton' for details.)

Kate Leslie either sold or let the property as by 1915 the house was resided in by aJ.E.W. Houlding.

In 1973 the house was adapted into flats for the elderly and is run by Mid-Sussex District Council. A long modern wing was added to the main house running southwards along the majority of the north-west boundary. A car parking area was built in the eastern part of the garden, the rest being laid to lawn. Nothing now remains of the original garden.

Period

  • 20th Century (1901 to 1932)
  • Early 20th Century (1901 to 1932)
Associated People
Features & Designations

Features

  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house is partly tile- hung over pebble-dashed walls, has small-paned casement windows and is L-shaped in plan.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gardens
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Lawn
  • Planting
  • Bowling Green
  • Flats
Key Information

Type

Garden

Purpose

Ornamental

Principal Building

Domestic / Residential

Period

20th Century (1901 to 1932)

Survival

Part: ground/below ground level remains

Open to the public

Yes

Civil Parish

Lindfield

References

Contributors

  • H.C. May

  • Sussex Gardens Trust