|HCC Site ID:||1174||Parish:||Fair Oak and Horton Heath|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:|| Private residential,
Location and site
The Manor House lies within the conservation area of the old village of Bishopstoke. One of several large houses built along the river Itchen in the late 18th or early 19th century. The soil in the district is mixed clay, loam and sand.
Built on the banks of the river Test in the late 18th or early 19th century on what is believed to be even older foundations, north of where Bishopstoke corn mill once stood, which in turn was said to be the site of a Domesday mill. It stood on an island formed by two branches of the Itchen with a large fishpond. Much of Bishopstoke in the early part of the 19th century belonged to the Twynham and Garnier families but the Tithe map (1840) names John George Atkins who lived at the Manor Farm, as owner of the Manor house and much surrounding land. The Tithe map shows the house surrounded by gardens. The surrounding land is pasture. The map does not, however, show ponds. (HRO21M65/F7/1 & 2). The property was advertised to let in 1829 comprising eight bedrooms with a walled garden, kitchen garden, several glasshouses, cowshed, a well-stocked orchard, fishpond on the river Itchen with fishing rights. The grounds were about 6 acres. It was advertised to let again in 1848 but with the added advantage of being ¾ mile from the railway station. Kelly’s Directory, 1859, describes the Manor house as pleasant, still owned by Atkins but tenanted by Edward Turner.
An undated map (approx. 1858–67), shows the house with a turning circle at the entrance over a bridge on the River Itchen. To the east are outbuildings and trees in neat rows, possibly fruit trees. South of the house several paths lined with trees lead to a large fishpond/lake. The 1881 census shows the Escombe family living at the Manor. Ethel Escombe who lived there from 1874–1883 described in ‘Bygone Days of Bishopstoke’ the orchard and kitchen gardens, with memories of tall white lilies growing in the garden with water meadows beyond.
The Village Directory (undated but approx. 1890) notes Mr and Mrs T B Bower as residents; the 1911 Census has only Mr Pocock, gardener and family. Sales details (undated) note an oak bridge with iron girders, and old chestnuts. The soil is referred to as gravel and the greenhouse heated with Loughborough boiler. The 3rd ed OS map, 1909, shows two new glasshouses.
The Manor house was always mostly tenanted, it seems. It was still a private house in the 1930s but some time later was converted into flats. In 1990, Itchen Grange, a regency style building comprising 18 flats and complementing the Manor house, was built within the grounds. What were probably stables to the north of the house were converted into residential properties. All other outbuildings went.
The Manor house and Itchen Grange are today accessed over a small bridge with parking in front and to the side of buildings. The grounds are beautifully maintained with a diverted stream running through the extensive lawns a large lake and many fine specimen trees which screen the road. There is no kitchen garden. The house is GR II listed.
Late 18th century riverside house with a large fishpond and walled garden; six acres remain including a lake (the fishpond) and river fishing. Now multiple ownership and a new large 20th century regency-style, Itchen Grange.
HGT Partial research: September 2012
Kelly’ Directory 1851
Village Directory date approx 1890
Census – various
Page, W Victoria County History Vol 3 1908
Escombe, D Bygone Days of Bishopstoke
Undated map approx 1858-67
OS map 25″ 3rd ed 1909
Tithe map (21M65/F7/21/1 & 2 HRO)
Undated Sales Details