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HCC Site ID: 1538 Parish: Itchen Stoke
Designations: SINC, SSSI, Farmhouse LB II Area: Medium
Access: Historic site Ownership: n/k

Site and Location

The medieval ruins of Abbotstone village lie between Ellisfield and Itchen Abbas, the chalk river valley.

Historic Development

Charles Paulet, created Duke of Bolton in 1689, was the son of John, the fifth Marquis of Winchester a staunch Royalist and the defender of Basing House during the Civil War. From 1675 and after the fall of Basing House to Cromwell (1645), the Duke of Bolton started building a new house at Abbotstone on high ground overlooking the site of a former house built in the 16th century by his ancestor, William Paulet, the 1st Marquis of Winchester. From 1683 onwards, he also started to remodel Hackwood House which became his favoured residence. Daniel Defoe visited Abbotstone soon after the house and gardens were finished and described ‘..a very handsome house and …the prospect and vista’s noble and great…’ In 1719, Pavey described Abbotstone as “ a large nobel brick house edged with stone …two vast large hawks to be fix’d to the top of two banqueting houses just before the entrance into the house…built after the Italian manner opening a vista from the end of the house to the other. The wings are the largest, darkening the body too much; there are above 100 rooms in the house…”
In 1759, the 5th Duke of Bolton succeeded and was responsible for the destruction of the house and the transference of the Grinling Gibbons carvings to Hackwood. The Itchen Stoke and Abbotstone Tithe Map of 1838 shows an orchard, probably the orchard described by Celia Fiennes – “…fine gardens and much fruite.”
In front and below the house was possibly a pleasure garden. Below again, there was another rectangular area of about two acres with steep banks which was the Great Garden referred to in 1745 by Henry Whitear’s lease of Abbotstone Farm. Parts of a walled garden remain. Parts of the wall are supported by buttresses and several thin bricks that may have come from the earlier 16th century house. There was a spring near the north-west corner of the garden and a small pond had at some time been constructed not far from the outlet and fed by the spring. The main part of the garden was divided into four rectangular plots. Fruit trees, herbs, vegetables would all have been grown. There is also an iron grill about five foot wide in the wall that overlooks the stream which may have prevented cold air collecting thus protecting the area against frost.

Current Description

Only vestiges of 18th century parkland, garden earthworks and walled garden remain.


Abbotstone house, built around 1680, by Charles Paulet; the gardens known as the Great Garden. House destroyed after 1759; the gardens deteriorated. Now vestiges of 18th century parkland, garden earthworks and walled garden remain.

Information: June 2003


Hampshire Record Office
11M49/418 Henry Whitear’s Lease
11M49/121 Thomas Lane’s Accounts
Daniel Defoe ‘A Tour through the whole Island of Great Britain’ Vol 1 p181
The Journey of Celia Fiennes edited by Christopher Morris, Cresset Press p46
Article by Miss I Sanderson (from HGT archive)
1st ed OS map 25″ 1870

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Itchen Stoke Historic site Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.10961160793149, -1.194291114807129

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