Sparsholt Manor 5167

Winchester, England, Hampshire, Winchester

Brief Description

The site has a typical Inigo Triggs house and garden built between 1922 and 1923 and currently under restoration. Features include a sunken garden, lawns, terrace, pergola, summerhouse, rill and southerly views. Good specimen trees abound and the site was professionally surveyed in 2001.

History

Triggs' obituary in the Architectural Review of 1923 notes that he was 'working on a house at Sparsholt' when he died in Sicily from a recurrent illness.

Terrain

Rolling countryside.

Detailed Description

The garden layout is characteristic of Triggs' vernacular interpretations of Italian Renaissance and Moorish Spanish villa gardens that he had extensively visited in the 1890s. The house, with a pair of matching garden loggias supported by barley-twist brickwork, faces south onto the main terrace of York stone flag paving with associated flowerbeds. Two flights of stone steps lead down to the main lawn which is centrally dissected by a stone-edged rill. This is fed from a dolphin-head masque set into the terrace wall. The rill flows through a pair of dipping pools and finally culminates in a circular pool flanked by topiary box mounds on the southern boundary.

To the east of the house are Triggs' signature parterres. There are the remains of a Thuja enclosed Rose garden and the sunken garden with dry-stone Purbeck walling. There is a central rectangular Water-lily pool with a lead putto and dolphin fountain. Close by is the tennis lawn backed by good specimens of Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropurpurea', Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca' and the ‘Cut-leaved Beech' - Fagus sylvatica ‘ Asplenifolia'.

To the west of the house is the pergola walk of timber beams resting on intricate brick piers leading to the ogee-roofed summerhouse. This is a copy of the one in Triggs' own garden at ‘Little Boarhunt' near Godalming. Beyond the pergola lies the walled kitchen garden with surviving espalier apple trees and numerous original outbuildings. These include the coach-house and stable block with a spectacular weathervane.

Various areas of the gardens have undergone restoration work. The main terrace paving and walls, the sunken garden and the curving walls of the entrance drive have all been re-built and re-planted in an appropriate Edwardian / Triggs style. This was adapted from the many examples of his work to be found in: Jekyll, G. and Weaver, L. 1912, Gardens for Small Country Houses, Country Life, London.

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

Formal gardens laid out by H Inigo Triggs in 1922-3.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Sparsholt Manor is located in the village of Sparsholt, Hampshire. It is bounded to the north by Woodman Lane, by open fields to the east and south and by an access track to Church Farm to the west. The boundaries are marked by a mixture of walls, fences and hedges. Looking south from the garden there are views over the adjoining rolling countryside.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

The house and garden are reached via Woodman Lane to the north. There is an entrance gate with brick piers. The gate piers are modern but have been carefully designed to compliment the original house and garden features. Once through the gates the drive sweeps round to the south-east flanked by curved dry stone walls before reaching a turning circle to the north of the house with a central oval grass lawn with fountain.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

Sparsholt Manor (listed Grade II) was designed by H Inigo Triggs and G Unsworth and built in 1922-23 for Samuel Bostock. It is a country house with Arts & Crafts and Domestic Revival influences. It is an H-plan, three-storey house of red brick with tile roofs and tile hanging. The principal elevation is to the south overlooking the gardens and is broadly symmetrical with the exception of an additional two-storey service wing to the west. The main H-block here has a central set-back section with a pair of large matching gables flanked by loggias.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The formal garden is divided into a series of garden rooms: To the north-east of the house is a hedged area which now contains a swimming pool. The pool is not an original feature as it is not shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1932 but is shown on aerial photographs of the 1960s in the possession of the owner. The surrounding mixed hedge includes yew which has outgrown its original formality. To the south is a former tennis court with further surrounding hedges and a pair of copper beeches to its west marking the boundary between the formal and more informal garden to the east. To the west of the tennis court is the former sunken rose garden. This is rectangular in form with a central sunken pool and then alternating levels of lawn and bedding. There are some staddle stones to its east which serve to anglicise this rather French compartment. The different levels are defined by dwarf walls, a feature which continues to the north where the main garden is divided into levels to create a terraced garden falling from north to south. Immediately adjacent to the house are lawns and bedding with York stone paving running both along the frontage (west-east) and north-south providing a path leading to the terrace. This has a dry stone wall as a division between the upper and lower levels and at its centre has a Dolphin spout and pool flanked by two flights of shallow steps which lead downwards. The lower level has a central stone rill with semi-circular side pools flanked by lawns and a large circular pool at the terminus with a surrounding circular bed. A semi-circular arc of six Box hedge shapes lies to the south of the pool. To the south again, the land has been modelled to create a curving bank with a straight boxhedge beyond which terminates the garden.

To the south-west of the house, outside the kitchen is a modern (C21) circular pavement in basket-weave brickwork. The formal garden is concluded on its western edge by a brick and timber pergola and end gazebo/summerhouse with an ogee-shaped roof. This dividing line is continued to the south by a rockery with a large Italian Alder at its southern end. To the west of the pergola is a small area bounded by Italian Yew hedges clipped into vertical terminals which form a gateway through into the kitchen garden.

KITCHEN GARDEN

An area of lawned kitchen garden with some surviving beds lies to the west of the formal gardens and is entered through the Irish Yew hedge. The kitchen garden is divided into quadrants by grass paths with the site of a former well at the centre. There are high brick walls to the west, north and partially to the east (adjoining the Yew hedge) but only a low fence to the south. This has a practical and also visual function, allowing frost to roll off the garden and giving views over the adjoining farming landscape. There is evidence for a former covered seat and view point in the north-west corner of the garden. There are remains of a small glasshouse and cold frame in the north-west quadrant. Planting is now minimal although there are some surviving espalier apple trees.

ANCILLARY BUILDINGS

A number of structures ancillary to the house are also noteworthy and part of the overall composition by Triggs: There is a pergola to the west of the house which has brick piers with tile detailing supporting cross timbers (probably in red cedar). It is decorated with a cast iron bell to the north and is concluded, to the south, by a brick gazebo with an ogee tiled roof. There is a coach house and stable block (with impressive weather vane) to the north of the kitchen garden and a quirky gardener's WC to their north, all in red brick with tiled roofs.

SITE VISIT: 30 January 2008.

REFERENCES

Baskervyle-Glegg, D: 'Designs for a Garden, Formal Informality' in Country Life, October 26 1995, pp58-61

Halfield, M et al, 1980: 'Triggs, H. Inigo (1876-1923)' in British Gardeners: A Biographical Dictionary

Triggs, HI, 1902: Formal Gardens in England and Scotland

Triggs, HI, 1906: The Art of Garden Design in Italy

Waymark, J, 2008, 'Triggs (Harry Benjamin) Inigo (1876-1923)', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography at www.oxforddn.com

REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION

The gardens of Sparsholt Manor, designed by H Inigo Triggs in 1922-3, are included on the Register of Parks and Gardens at grade II for the following principal reasons:

* A relatively unaltered example of a garden by this early C20 designer of note, designed and executed to complement the contemporary Sparsholt Manor, also by Triggs with Gerald Unsworth.

* One of the last, if not the last garden design by Triggs and as such a summation of his exploration of formal European garden design in an English Edwardian idiom.

* A design which is well executed with strong structural components and sparing yet effective specimen planting.

Features
  • Garden Wall
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  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: The main terrace of York stone flag paving has associated flowerbeds.
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  • Rose Garden
  • Description: There are the remains of a Thuja enclosed Rose garden.
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  • Dipping Pool
  • Description: The rill flows through a pair of dipping pools and finally culminates in a circular pool flanked by topiary box mounds on the southern boundary.
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  • Pool
  • Description: There is a central rectangular Water-lily pool with a lead putto and dolphin fountain.
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  • Parterre
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  • Lawn
  • Description: Two flights of stone steps lead down to the main lawn which is centrally dissected by a stone-edged rill.
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  • Loggia
  • Description: There is a pair of matching garden loggias supported by barley-twist brickwork.
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  • Pergola
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  • Stable Block
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  • Summerhouse
  • Description: There is an ogee-roofed summerhouse. This is a copy of the one in Triggs? own garden at `Little Boarhunt? near Godalming.
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  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: Beyond the pergola lies the walled kitchen garden with surviving espalier apple trees and numerous original outbuildings.
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  • Espalier
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  • Ornamental Fountain
  • Description: There is a central rectangular Water-lily pool with a lead putto and dolphin fountain.
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  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Sparsholt Manor is an early-20th-century house. It is an H-plan, three-storey house of red brick with tile roofs and tile hanging. The main H-block here has a central set-back section with a pair of large matching gables flanked by loggias.
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  • Pool
  • Description: The rill flows through a pair of dipping pools and finally culminates in a circular pool flanked by topiary box mounds on the southern boundary.
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  • Tennis Lawn
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  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: There are specimens of Fagus sylvatica `Atropurpurea?, Cedrus atlantica `Glauca? and the `Cut-leaved Beech? ? Fagus sylvatica ` Asplenifolia?.
  • Walk
  • Description: To the west of the house is the pergola walk of timber beams resting on intricate brick piers.
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Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Sparsholt
History

Detailed History

Sparsholt Manor is an early-20th-century house of brick and tile-hung elevations, set within approximately five acres of landscaped gardens and paddocks with extensive views across farmland to the south.

The house and gardens are typical of layouts designed by Harry Inigo Triggs in partnership with firstly, William Unsworth and then his son Gerald, from their offices in Petersfield. Triggs' obituary in the Architectural Review of 1923 notes that he was ‘working on a house at Sparsholt' when he died in Sicily from a recurrent illness. His client for the new manor house was Samuel Bostock, a local dignitary and formerly the owner of Lainston House, which is just down the lane on the road to Winchester.

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

Harry Inigo Triggs (1876-1923) garden designer, architect and author, designed the gardens at Sparsholt Manor for Samuel Bostock as the setting for a new manor house (also by Inigo Triggs with Gerald Unsworth). The chosen site was located on the edge of the village of Sparsholt on a formerly virgin site. The house and gardens have been little altered and remain (2008) in private ownership.

Period

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

Just one person associated to Sparsholt Manor

Contact
References

Contributors

  • Hampshire Gardens Trust

  • Stephen.J.White

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