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Tangier House and Park


The estate was a originally known as Fabians until the reign of Charles II. I The Grade II* listed building is thought to have been built around 1662 by Sir Robert Howard who renamed the estate out of deference to his royal master King Charles II. During the 19th century it was the residence of the Bigg-withers.

Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting

Tangier was part of the wider estate holdings of Manydown until the early 20th century. The extent of the park is marked at the present day by original features such as the Wilderness, and the Lime Walk. There have been 18th, 19th and 20th century additions and modernisations appropriate to the time but essentially the park is relatively unchanged.


The park is approached along a drive from the south east, across meadows to the entrance court retained by a curving stone ha-ha planted with colourful herbaceous plants. The house is surrounded by courtyard gardens - to the west a small garden is enclosed by old brick walls containing a pool and pool room built in the 1970s. A hedged paddock lies to the north of the driveway, leading to a pond and the tennis court. From the north eastern front the wilderness is approached by a footpath bounded on its northern side by a mixed shrub border against a long south-east facing wall. The collection of red brick estate buildings and cottages associated with Tangier House create a small attractive hamlet.

The early 20th century saw many changes in the fortunes of estates such as Tangier, and by the 1960s the pressure for new development sites at the periphery of Basingstoke resulted in the acquisition of the estate of Manydown by the Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (see Manydown Report 1283).

In 1964 Tangier Park was put up for sale separately. Today (2022) it remains in private hands. The parkland is grazed by a small herd of alpaca.


The house and park retain some elements of a 17th century landscape.

  • Areas of outstanding beauty (AONB): Yes
  • Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI): No
  • Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC): No
  • Tree Preservation Orders (TPO): No

Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: November 2009

Detailed description contributed by Hampshire Gardens Trust 14/04/2015

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

Private. No public visitor access.


13th Century

Tangier Park is located approximately 2 miles north west of Basingstoke and less than a mile to the west of Wooton St Lawrence. The mansion stands on small shoulder of the down landscape overlooking Manydown Park to the south. The manor of Wootton, afterwards called Manydown, was held by the monks of the bishopric of Winchester at the time of the Domesday Survey, when the land was assessed at 20 hides. John Fabian held lands in Yerdeley and Wootton before 1282.

14th Century

The extensive woods at Wootton were renowned in the late Middle Ages. In 1332 a licence was granted for the imparkment of the wood of Wootton, and in 1377 ‘fenced round in order that the deer might not stray'. It was visited by the royal huntsmen in 1361 and 1363.

15th - 16th Century

In 1412 John Gerveys and Thomas Horton obtained licence to grant it to the priory of St. Swithun. In 1541 the estate was granted as part of the manor of Manydown to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester, who continued to hold the manorial rights until the reversion was purchased by the Rev. Lovelace Bigg-Wither in 1863. The estate was originally known as Fabians until the reign of Charles II.

17th Century

The house is a Grade II* listed building built around 1662 by to Sir Robert Howard, son-in-law of Sir Richard Kingsmill of Malshanger, who was in residence at Tangier at the time of the restoration. His initials SRH and the year 1662 can be seen on a brick panel on the gable indicating that Sir Robert was responsible for the rebuilding of the mansion and renamed the estate in honour of his royal master's marriage to Catherine of Braganza after the town in North Africa that formed part of her dowry; having received many honours from the crown for his part in the restoration. (see appendix 1 re atributions)

Built in the ‘Dutch' style - very much in vogue before Charles II and his court returned from exile in France, Tangier Park with its radiating walks in the Wilderness, Lime walk and grass plat demonstrate some of the features of a designed ‘Restoration' landscape. The park, which covered an area of about 143 acres, at this time formed part of the Manydown estate, the western edge of which lies in the parish of Church Oakley, and connects with the estate at Malshanger.

The despoliation of the woods during the time of the conflict between Parliament and the Crown and during the period of the Commonwealth was much deplored by John Evelyn in his book Sylva. He exhorted the king to preside over the restoration of woods forests and chases, and his instruction to landowners was to ‘plant Firs, Elms and Limes all places and avenues': perhaps the origin of the Lime avenue between Tangier and Malshanger (referred to in the AHBR Site IUD 51704 - note some errors in the ref.). It was certain that Sir Robert Howard would have been aware of social matters that engaged the court. It would appear that the park layout was defined at this time and although changes have occurred to some boundaries, and woodlands areas altered, the main elements persist to modern times.

18th -19th Century

In 1710, on the death of his father, the estate was sold by Sir Hele Hooke to Henry Limprey and remained with the Limpreys for more than 90 years. It was inherited through another branch of the family the Sclater-Mathews and in 1809 Mr Sclater - Mathew died at Tangier House leaving his entire estate to his sister Miss Elizabeth Sclater. It was at this time that the connection between the families at Manydown, Tangier and Oakley was drawn upon in Jane Austen's novels, and which played such a part in her personal life including reference to a Mrs S. at Tangier in correspondence with one of her nephews (1816).

The tithe maps of 1844, the 1871 sale catalogue and later OS map shows a wilderness of about 4 acres intersected by eight radiating walks. A lime avenue is shown leading to Malshanger Park. High red brick walls enclose the kitchen gardens and ancillary buildings. From the 1830s, the property was integrated with the Manydown estate, and leased by the Rev. Lovelace Bigg-Wither, whose family had been involved at Wooton from medieval times. He lived there until 1871, and Tangier Park beame the dower house when the estate was sold to Sir Edward Bates (created Baron Bates of Gyrn Castle, Flint, Bellefield and Manydown in 1880). Tangier Park has been connected by marriage to many prominent Hampshire families including Kingsmill, Sclater, Bigg-Wither, Purefoy, Jervoise and Bates. More recently with the Hoare family - owners of the oldest privately run family bank in the United Kingdom.

Detailed history contributed by Hampshire Gardens Trust 14/04/2015

Edited: January 2022

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential





Open to the public


Civil Parish

Wootton St.



  • Hampshire Gardens Trust

  • EM Consultants