South Lodge (also known as South Lodge Hotel)5304

Nr. Horsham, West Sussex, England, West Sussex, Horsham

Brief Description

The garden was developed from the 1880s and the collection included over 360 species. There were good collections of large-leaved rhododendrons, plus hybrid varieties including many seedlings from Wilson, Kingdom Ward and other collectors. There were many native and exotic trees, shrubs, a fine rock garden, extensive lawns and a water garden. The layout of the garden remains the same, although some areas are now overgrown.

History

Frederick Du Cane Godman (1834-1919) probably bought the site around 1880, as it was he who re-built the house, taking care not to disturb a camellia between the dining room windows of the earlier house.

Detailed Description

Godman, a fine plantsman and plant collector, created a late-Victorian woodland and informal style garden on the acidic forest soils. The garden was developed from the 1880s and the collection included over 360 species. There were good collections of large-leaved rhododendrons, plus hybrid varieties including many seedlings from Wilson, Kingdom Ward and other collectors. There were many native and exotic trees, shrubs, a fine rock garden, extensive lawns and a water garden.

The 1897 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map shows how the garden was developed. The layout of the garden is much the same today. Godman competed with his near neighbour, Sir Edmund Loder at Leonardslee. The garden was open to the public under the Yellow Book scheme until Miss Edith died. Wright (1978) describes the gardens just before she died.

The garden still exists but with low maintenance is overgrown, the rock garden in particular. The South Lodge Hotel Gardens leaflet shows that the layout has not been altered and that a number of fine trees remain.

Features

Style

  • Informal
  • Hotel (featured building)
  • Description: Godman re-built the house in the 1880s. It has been in use as a hotel since 1981.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: Rock garden, now overgrown.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Lower Beeding
History

Detailed History

The Victoria County History (VCH) says that in the Middle Ages the whole parish of Lower Beeding lay within St Leonard's Forest (technically a chase). There is no tithe map for the Parish of Lower Beeding. No information has been found for an early history of the site except that the name South Lodge may have had some connotation for it being an actual lodge in the Forest. The VCH says that South Lodge existed by 1850. The 1874 1st edition Ordnance Survey map shows the house still set within a wooded landscape typical of the St. Leonard's Forest.

Frederick Du Cane Godman (1834-1919) probably bought the site around 1880, as it was he who re-built the house, taking care not to disturb a camellia between the dining room windows of the earlier house. The VCH says that this rebuild was in a free Tudor style in 1883 ( the new house is shown in the Ordnance Survey 2nd edition map, 1897). Nicholson (1992, p.20) says that from 1883 Godman started to create ‘a fine garden in which rare plants mingled with English natives to rare effect'. The house was further extended around 1911.

Godman's first wife, Edith Mary, died in 1875 and he did not marry again until 1891. He and his second wife, Alice, had two daughters, Eva and Edith (born in 1895 and 1896). After Godman's death his wife and then his daughters maintained the house and garden. Edith Godman died in 1981 when the estate had to be sold. It is currently run as a hotel.

References

References