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Wydcombe

Introduction

A landscape park and walled flower garden developed from the mid-19th-century on an earlier site.

Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting

Wydcombe is situated in a secluded valley north-west of Whitwell village.

An article entitled ‘The Landscape and History of Wydcombe, Isle of Wight' (Vicky Basford and Richard Smout PIWNHAS 16 2000, 9-19) describes the evolution of the estate and the history of its buildings in some detail, as well as discussing the date and function of the ponds and water leat first shown on the Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1866. These may possibly have powered a mill pre-dating the landscape park but are not shown on the unpublished OS map of 1793 and so may be ornamental features created during the laying out of the landscape park. In both ponds the water is retained by means of substantial dams.

Gardens and Pleasure Grounds

Beyond the southern pond is a waterfall cutting through the natural Greensand rock, Between the southern pond and the Victorian house is a circular brick-lined pit of unknown function. Beside the road leading to the original house is an ornamental fountain under a Greensand stone canopy, with water from a concealed reservoir flowing through a pipe into a rectangular marble basin.

The original area of parkland survives intact. The planted clumps of Scots Pine have mostly gone but belts of planted beech and sycamore survive to the west and south of the house. Two ponds survive, as does the leat.

Walled Garden

The walled garden was developed as a private flower garden by Miss Gwen Lacey in the 1980s.

History

19th Century

Wydcombe is a Victorian house and park on the site of a medieval holding which formed part of the Manor of Appuldurcombe in medieval times (Basford and Smout 2000). On the death of Sir Richard Worsley, Wydcombe passed to his estranged wife Dorothy Seymour, and so became separated from the core of the Appuldurcombe estate. In about 1844 Wydcombe was purchased by Captain (later Major) Dawes, who created the park.

Period

Victorian (1837-1901)

Key Information

Type

Landscape Park

Purpose

Ornamental

Principal Building

House

Period

Victorian (1837-1901)

Survival

Unknown

Civil Parish

Niton and

References

References