|HCC Site ID:||1683||Parish:||Southampton Unitary Authority|
|Designations:||Stream – open space||Area:||40.5 ha before estate was divided up|
|Access:||No Public Access except small open area||Ownership:||Private housing/ small area of open space|
Location and Site
Bassett Wood lies on the northern boundary of Southampton just south of the point where a linking road leaves the M27 to join the M3. The House stands at a high point on the estate with the land falling away southwards to the stream. The fact that pines and acid-loving plants thrive suggests that the soil is acidic.
The Bassett Wood estate was created in the mid 19th century on wooded land south of North Stoneham Park. The first owner was John Bullar, a noted citizen of Southampton, who chose Bassett Wood, then outside the town, as his retirement home (Temple Patterson 1966, 142). Land was cleared to create a green space south of the house and a kitchen garden was organised on one side. The stream was dammed to form a fish pond (OS map 1872-3). A separate house, named Bassett Holt, was built for his two sons. It had its own land of 8 acres (3.2 ha). There were very few changes before 1945. By 1910 a new lodge had been built on Bassett Green Road to replace the former one further away to the south-east. A boat house was built by the pond (OS map 3rd ed. 6”). In 1920 the estate became part of the Borough of Southampton. During World War 11 the house was occupied by the army (pers comm. 2000).
After 1945 the estate was broken up to become an area of private housing. Bassett House remained although sub-divided, and no longer linked with Bassett Holt. Ancillary buildings were adapted and became private houses. An area of woodland surrounding the stream has been left untouched as this accords with Southampton’s policy of Greenways.
An estate, first created in the mid-nineteenth century, that was mostly woodland has changed dramatically with time. The house, some specimen trees and the woodland area surrounding the stream still remain but in the second half of the 20th century the rest of the estate was developed for private housing.
HGT Research: 2000, update May 2012
OS Maps: 1st ed 25” & 6” 1872-73; 3rd ed 6” 1910
Personal communication: resident of the Coach House, Bassett Wood in 2000.
Temple Patterson, A., 1966 History of Southampton 1700-1914, Southampton University Press