|HCC Site ID:||1245||Parish:||Burghclere|
|Designations:||AONB, SINC||Area:||c 1290 acres|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Residential Arable / Equestrian-Private|
Location and Site
Burghclere is a large parish 5 miles west of Kingsclere, and is immediately adjacent to Highclere, on its western boundary. Earlstone Common lies to the south and Burghclere Common to the west of the park. At the time of the Domesday Survey ‘Clere’, which possibly includes Burghclere is described in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as consisting of 10 hides in the time of Edward the Confessor and 7½ hides in 1086, and as being held by the Bishop of Winchester for the support of the monks of Winchester. The commons were inclosed in 1783, and in the 17th and 18th centuries mention is made of the rights of free warren, free fishery etc. A surviving park pale was identified by Crawford in 1953 p 195-6 as that of Adbury, ‘more properly should be described Burghclere Park’.
The Adbury estate is located on both sides of the C183 between Burchlere and the A339 The estate is aprox 1290 acres. Previously part of the Fitz William estate, the whole manor was acquired in 1577 by Richard Kingsmill. By the middle of the 19th century, the estate was in the hands of William Fox – a magistrate and prominent member of Hampshire society. During this period it was developed as a Landscape Park, the tree planting of which survives today. It remained in the family until after the 2nd World War. In 1958 Adbury Park Estate was offered for sale including Adbury Farm, the North Lodge and several cottages.
The character of the parkland is of large fields interspersed with significant blocks of woodland (aprox 52 acres) some of which are listed as Semi-Natural Ancient Woodland. Apart from the area immediately adjacent to the house the site is in arable production with the exception of the areas of low lying land adjacent to two ponds. The estate is identified as having a ‘high degree of conservation interest’ with species such as the Purple hairstreak and White Admiral butterflies, grass snakes and possibly breeding buzzard. In addition to arable farming, the estate is used for wildfowl and game shooting. Large numbers of pheasants are reared in the woodland blocks and 2 large ponds have been created to attract and rear wild fowl.
The change of use in 1995 from agriculture to equestrian/agriculural use and new stables has not significantly affected the land use for arable crops. in 1998 approval was given to demolish the existing house and replace it with a new house. The gardens around the new house consist of mature trees – survivors of the 19th century planting schemes, New tree planting has been carried out along the drives to the house and stables. A small pleasure and kitchen garden is located to the east of the house, which has wide views south across the park landscape of arable land. Major refurbishment works are currently being implemented to the North Lodge.
The park is within an area of Particular Landscape Importance in the BDB Local Plan, forming a buffer to the N Wessex Downs AONB which lies about 1½ miles to the south. After the 2nd world War the estate became run down and in the 1990s approval was sought to demolish and rebuild. The present house is a large 2 storey modern brick building, overlooking the parkland.
A surviving park pale was identified by Crawford in 1953 p 195-6 as that of Adbury. Anderson considers that it is part of Burghclere Park.
Landscape Planning Status :
TPO etc The belt of trees enclosing the park from the north
Ancient Woodland Inventory Map 26, parts of Frith Copse, Rosemore and Burntcroft Copse, Gravel Copse, and Dovey’s Copse are described as ancient semi-natural woodland.
Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: November 2009