South Leigh Park (also known as Woodlands, Southleigh)3895

Havant, England, Hampshire, Havant

Brief Description

Southleigh features the remains of an early 19th-century gentleman's estate. The house, clock tower and lodge all listed, have been restored. Little of the gardens survive, except a model dairy, the pond and some planting but the house still stands overlooking the former park.

History

The estate, known in 1820 as Woodlands, was then a dairy farm. It was bought by Mr. Charles Short, who converted the house into a mansion, the front of which was of galleted flint and castellated, facing south to command a view over the sea. Extensive gardens were made, including glasshouses in 2 kitchen gardens, and ornamental woods, screening the house from the road. The farm was separate from the house. In the 1839 sales particulars, the estate had grown to 160 acres (65ha). By 1889, the estate, known now as Southleigh, had been embellished with more ornamental planting. A small lake at the front of the house punctuated the view over a park. A lodge had been built at the NE corner of the estate, and a carriage way round to the entrance on the east wing had been established. The farm, known as Woodlands Farm, had been moved away from house and gardens.In 1903 the estate, now 360 acres (147.7ha),including cottages and farms, owned by the White family, was viable enough to survive as a working unit until 1968, when the estate was sold to the Plessey Company. A new entrance was cut from the Eastleigh Road and the kitchen gardens became a car park. A modern office block was built in the same area. In 1994/5 the estate, covering c 6.07ha (15 acres), became the property of Snell & Wilcox. The company has the intention of making the estate the World Headquarters of the business.

Detailed Description

The house overlooks what was the park, which includes several large oak trees, and is now grazing for Southleigh Farm. The house and clock tower have been restored and the lodge is in the process of restoration. The pond has been dredged and restocked with fish and the planting around it cleared. The model dairy still exists. There is the intention of cutting a new entrance from the Eastleigh Road, with a projected carriage sweep round the front of the house to the impressive front entrance at the east wing. Although there is little left of the original planting, there is an enormous laurel bush covering an area of about 5m by 5m, with very thick intertwined branches.

Features

Plant Environment

  • Water Garden
  • Environment

Style

  • English Landscape Garden
Gate Lodge, Garden Wall, Pond
History

Detailed History

The estate, known in 1820 as Woodlands, was then a dairy farm. It was bought by Mr. Charles Short, who converted the house into a mansion, the front of which was of galleted flint and castellated, facing south to command a view over the sea.

Extensive gardens were made, including glasshouses in two kitchen gardens, and ornamental woods, screening the house from the road. The farm was separate from the house. In the 1839 sales particulars, the estate had grown to 160 acres.

By 1889, the estate, known now as Southleigh, had been embellished with more ornamental planting. A small lake at the front of the house punctuated the view over a park. A lodge had been built at the north-east corner of the estate and a carriageway round to the entrance on the east wing had been established. The farm, known as Woodlands Farm, had been moved away from house and gardens.

In 1903 the estate, now covering 360 acres, included cottages and farms, owned by the White family, was viable enough to survive as a working unit until 1968, when the estate was sold to the Plessey Company. A new entrance was cut from the Eastleigh Road and the kitchen gardens became a car park. A modern office block was built in the same area.

In 1994/5 the estate, covering about 15 acres, became the property of Snell & Wilcox. The company has the intention of making the estate the World Headquarters of the business.

References

Contributors

  • Hampshire Gardens Trust