Allington Manor (Great Allington House, Allington Manor Farm)

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HCC Site ID: 1640 Parish: West End
Designations: SINC, TPOs Area: c3 ha was 22 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private Residential

Location and Site

Allington Manor is located at the very northern limit of the parish of West End in the district of Eastleigh, on the western side of Allington Lane, a winding lane which links West End to the south with Fair Oak to the north. The site is in a rural area, between the urban conurbations of Southampton and Eastleigh, with the M27 running about 2km to the south, and the Eastleigh to Fareham railway line passing diagonally about 300m south of the manor house. The estate is on low-lying land on the eastern side of the river Itchen, about six miles from where it enters the Southampton estuary. The land is now mainly arable.

Historic Development

Allington was first recorded in 1086 in the Domesday Survey as Alditona. Over the centuries a large part of the estate came into the hands of Winchester College (VCH 1908, 485-6) which in 1845 still owned much of the land whilst the rest was owned by local landowners (1845 Tithe Map). The Milne map of 1791 shows Allington as a cluster of buildings. When the then owner, Nathaniel Middleton, sheriff of Hampshire in 1800, died in 1807, his estate of ‘the extensive manor of Shamblehurst, or Townhill, and Allington’ was offered for sale (Morning Chronicle 1808 on-line). A similar notice in 1812 described Allington Manor as having a fishery in the River Itchen (Hampshire Telegraph:Sussex Chronicle 1812 on-line). The 1825 enclosure map shows Henry Twynam as the owner of Allington Manor, with one fishpond to the west of the building and one further south (HRO Q23/2/122/1-3). It would appear that the Twynam family developed the garden and surrounding parkland during these years. By 1845 changes can be seen: on the tithe map Allington Farm comprises Great Allington House, now owned by Edward Twynam, and Little Allington House; the former is now squarer in appearance and to the south-east of the upper ornamental pond, which is longer and larger than in 1825. There is an orchard at the back of the house. The second fishpond to the south also looks longer. The surrounding land is described as arable or pasture (1845 tithe map). An area of wooded parkland which extends beyond the new Portsmouth Gosport railway line to the south appears on the OS 1st ed 1810 map which was edited around 1855.
On the 1st ed 25” 1869-90 map, the area around the manor appears to include an orchard, a garden, possibly walled, with beds marked out, and a heavily planted area in front of the house and surrounding the fishpond. Beyond this is ‘ornamental ground’ extending as far as the railway line, and ‘arable and embankment’ on the other side of the line.

In 1872, the sales notice for Great Allington Manor states ‘about 800 acres [322.7 ha] …of very fertile land, including rich water meadow, arable and pasture land, with ornamental plantations and woods. There is a roomy and comfortable Residence, very substantial, surrounded by beautiful grounds with natural shrubs, timber trees, and ornamental water, beyond which are the well-timbered parklands’. There is also mention of a model farm: a new farm building ‘which has only recently been erected on an excellent plan, with water power, machinery, and every modern appliance’. Mention is made of the River Itchin, which bounds the property for 2 miles (The Times 1872 on-line).
In 1892 William Harvey is a farmer at Allington Farm (1891 census), called Allington Manor Farm in Mates’ Guides to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Illustrated (c1892). It is described as a ‘modern English farm, of over seven hundred acres in extent’. When Sir Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling, bought the property, sometime between 1899 and 1909, he planned to extend the house, doubling its size (HRO 34 M74/BP 1047). It is clear from the present-day building that the house has been considerably extended over the years. A conservatory is shown on the south side of the house on the OS 3rd ed 25” 1909 map. In August 1915 the manor became a sanatorium for 25 Belgian soldiers who had contracted tuberculosis in the trenches, being opened by HRH Princess Clementine and Prince Napoleon of Belgium. A description of the garden is included in the report by the Southern Daily Echo of September 1 1915: ‘The house, which stands in 4 acres of ground, has a pleasing exterior, its colouring of white standing out in distinct relief against the surrounding verdure. It is approached by a short, winding carriage drive, on either side of which are several excellent specimens of trees…In the grounds a croquet court has been marked out, and space left for other amusements, whilst beneath the shade of the trees the patients are able to enjoy the fresh air …Behind the house is an orchard surrounding a fish pond, making an ideal setting for a Manor House’.
By 1945 (OS 4th ed 25” 1945) the whole of the lower fishpond was full of reeds and there were fewer trees in the parkland, but the mixed plantings remained around the pond and bordering the road as before. The following year, Allington Manor Farm is put up for sale by Lord Swaythling: the estate is described as ‘an agricultural, woodland and sporting estate including Allington Manor Farm, 519 acres…having an attractive Georgian manor house’. The estate included 97 acres of oak woodlands (The Times 1946 on-line). By 1963, when Peter J Rowsell was living in Allington Manor (Kelly’s 1962,64,66), a plan of the site shows that the fishpond in front of the house was full of reeds, and a new property ‘Allston’ had been built to the south of the garden, in a 0.84 acre of land. In 1967, Allington Manor Farm was put up for sale: 324 acres (131ha) with ‘modern house, 6 cottages, ample buildings’ (The Times 1967 on-line). The estate, which did not include Allington Manor and its garden, or ‘Allston’ to the south, was to be sold by auction as a whole or in seven lots. At this time Callain Douglas Campbell-Gray, son of 22nd Lord Gray, was living at the manor (Kelly’s 1967-68, 1970-73).

Current Description

In 2011, the Allington Manor estate covers an area of 3.035 ha (7.5 acres) and has been owned since 1977 by Doctor and Mrs Ludwig Lowenstein, who run Southern England Psychological Services from the house (pers.com.). New buildings have been added to the back and side of the original house, and the barn near the road is currently being converted to residential use. The upper pond is reduced in size and is now roughly an oval shape. According to the present owners, the pond, which is fed by a natural spring, had silted up and had been dug out and repuddled, possibly by Hilliers, at some time during the 1950s or 1960s. It still contains fish and is planted around the edge with mature trees and shrubs. There remain mature plantings at the front of the property, edging part of the drive, the southern boundary with ‘Allston’, and along the line of the road. Of note are two Lucombe oaks (Quercus x hispanica ‘Lucombeana’) and a Metasequoia glyptostroboides. The remainder of the garden is mainly laid to grass. There is some evidence of the former walled garden at the side of the house: the boundary wall to the north exists, but the other walls, being in an unsafe condition, have been dismantled over time. The lower pond has been designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) by Eastleigh Borough Council for its distinctive flora and fauna, as have the Hogwood and Gravel Pits to the south of the railway track (Eastleigh Borough Council Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document 2009). The former model farm is now Allington Manor Business Centre, divided into units and let to various small businesses. The area directly to the south and north of the manor house is occupied by a number of small private residences.

Summary

An early 19th century estate with parkland and ponds dissected by the railway line around 1841. The house was extended early 20th century. The sporting estate was divided in 1967, with the manor house and upper ornamental fishpond remaining. The lower fishpond has been designated a SINC. The mid-late 19th century model farm is now a business centre.

HGT Research: May 2011

References

Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
Q23/2/122/1-3 enclosure map 1825
21M65/F7/217/1+2 tithe map 1845
34M74/BP1047 proposed addition to Allington Manor 1909
Maps
Milne 1791 OS Timeline Historical Map 1810-1817
Ordnance Survey maps from Hampshire County Council:
1st ed 25” 1869-90 3rd ed 25” 1909 4th ed 25” 1945
Books
Mates’ Guides: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Illustrated, p81, Bournemouth c1892
Kelly’s 1962, 1964, 1966-68, 1970-73, 1974-75
pers.com. (Personal Communication)
Dr and Mrs Lowenstein 12 February 2011
Southampton Library
Southern Daily Echo 1 September 1915
West End Local History Society
Census 1841-1901
Online West End Tithe map 1845
Electronic Sources
British History Online: Victoria County History: Hampshire Volume 3 p485-6, ed William Page 1908 – accessed November 2010 19th century newspapers online:
Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle June 15 1812, – accessed November 2010
The Morning Chronicle May 10 1808 – accessed November 2010
Times online: May 6 1872, July 19 1915, July4 + 15 1946, May 26 1967 – accessed November 2010
Eastleigh Borough Council Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document 2009 – accessed April 2011
hants.gov.uk/railways-of-hampshire


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