Blackmoor House

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HCC Site ID: 1392 Parish: Selborne
Designations: SNDP, House LB II*; Coach House & South Lodge LB Area: 4.05 ha (10 acres)
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Multiple ownership

Location and Site

Blackmoor House is situated to the east of Selborne and south of Bordon, to the west of the A325 on the western edge of the ancient Woolmer Forest.  The modern Blackmoor estate sits within the 13th century Blackmoor Deer park (AHBR). The soil is chalk, lower greensand to the south, gault clay to the west. The house is approached via a drive from the north, with a tenanted lodge. South Lodge, Grade II listed, is a separate dwelling.

Historic Development 

The manor was sequentially part of the ancient demesne of the Crown, 6 acres of which were granted to the Knights Templars in 1240, then subsequently owned by the de Heyes family until the 17th century after which little is known until 1863-65 when Sir A K Macdonald Bart, bought three farms in the parish, including Blackmoor Farm (Stamper, 1983: VCH, 1911, 5-7). They were sold on in 1865 to Sir Roundell Palmer, who from 1865–1882 purchased more land and farms (HRO 19M75/E5/5) and employed Alfred Waterhouse to build a new church, vicarage, school and reading room in the village (Stowell, 2003; White, 1789).  Sir Roundell became the 1st Earl of Selborne in 1882.
Blackmoor farmhouse was demolished and Waterhouse was asked to design a new gothic, Tudor-style mansion begun in 1869 and completed by 1873, probably incorporating one wall of the old farmhouse into the courtyard side of the house (pers. comm. Chuter). Constructed of malmstone, special features include a clock tower with pyramid tile roof and weather vane and a service court, entered via a Gothic gateway (Hampshire Treasures, online, 290).  In 1882, Waterhouse made an addition to the garden side of the house which had previously been symmetrical (Pevsner & Lloyd, 1967): he probably designed the South Lodge at the same time.
Gilbert White wrote of long views and a site that was admirably chosen with any monotony saved by bold undulations and clumps of wood.  His view is still clearly visible today. A walled garden to the north east of the house; to the north, a lodge with entry drive; and a lake enlarged from the medieval moat, are all seen on the 1st edition 6” OS map (1872-74). The 1st to 3rd edition 25” maps show details such as two islands in the small lake and a bridge from the larger one, runs of greenhouses in the walled garden.  There are two terraces on different levels which show re-design from the 1st edition 25”, OS map to the 3rd edition, to become more formal, incorporating low walls dividing areas on the upper terrace and the introduction of curved walls at each end of the lower terrace.  A photograph from around 1914, shows the upper terrace with formal planting (HRO 115A08/16/4).  The current gardener understands that the formal beds had dahlias at the start of the 20th century. A small, sunken garden appeared to the east of the house by 1910 (OS map 25”, 3rd ed.).
During the first World War, the house became an auxiliary hospital (HRO 115A08/16/4). In July 1924, the mansion and grounds, consisting of 28.562 acres, were transferred to the Blackmoor Estate Company. The family had the right to remain in the house in their lifetime (HRO 19M75/E8/1). In 1975, the house was sold on a long lease and divided into several dwellings while the Selborne family moved to Temple Manor. The Coach House was listed Grade II in 1986.

Current description

Sales particulars, 1995, for a courtyard dwelling note communal grounds, with walks through lawns, rhododendrons and parkland with specimen trees and an ornamental lake.10 acres adjoining farmland (HRO 118A03). The terraces are now lawned but the steps and the long views of Gilbert White’s bold undulations and clumps of wood remain. It is very likely that some specimen trees also remain. The steps on the upper terrace have lost their banking, revealing unsightly concrete and the current gardener refers to footings that can be found in the lower terrace when mowing the grass. The sunken garden, once tended by Lady Laura Selborne during her tenancy in an upper floor flat, now belongs to one of the dwellings and appears to be still well tended. Many of the paths and parts of the drives have been grassed over but they are clearly delineated. The moat/19th century lake, which according to the gardener is very shallow, remains with the bridge moved to the west. The walled garden is uncultivated (Site visit, October 2010).


Blackmoor House sits within the 13th century Blackmoor deer park with moat and long views, developed by the 1st Earl of Selborne. House (LB II*) by Alfred Waterhouse (1869-73) and grounds with terraces, walled garden and enlarged moat, specimen trees and extensive woodland (1869-1910) remaining.  The house is now in multiple ownership on a long lease.
HGT Research:  October 2010


Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
19M75/E8/1  Estate papers
19M75/E5/5 Estate papers
118A03/1 – Sales particulars of Courtyard House, 1995
115A08/16/4 – 1914, photograph of Blackmoor Auxiliary Hospital
53M78/1 – photographs copyright Gordon Barnes, 1978
1st ed 25”        1870-81                       1st ed 6”          1872-74
2nd ed 25”      1896-97                       2nd ed 6”        1897-98
3rd ed 25”       1910                            3rd ed 6”         1910
Landline 2006 1:2500
Pevsner, N., Lloyd, D., 1967, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Penguin Books, Middx.
Stamper, P.S., 1983, Medieval Hampshire- Studies in Landscape History,
Stowell, A., 2003, The Story of Selborne, Stobooks
White, G., National History and Antiquities of Selborne,
Victoria County History (VCH), Page, W. (Ed.), 1911, Vol. 3, pp. 5-7
Other Sources
Pers. comm. (Personal communication) with current gardener, David Chuter (October 2010)
Electronic Sources Archaeological and Historic Buildings Record AHBR (no longer available online 3/3/19) Hampshire Treasures

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