|HCC Site ID:||1417||Parish:||Bossington|
|Designations:||House & Lodges LB II||Area:||20.235 ha|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
The Manor of Bossington is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It is uncertain where the Manor was situated. Two sites are possible. One is just south of the church where archaeological evidence suggests that this is the site of an abandoned medieval village. The other, is the site of the present Bossington House, built in 1834. Taylor and Milne maps of 1759 and 1791 clearly show a house situated in a similar position, in a triangle between the River Test on the south-east, a tributary joining the Test from the north, and a road from Houghton to Horsebridge on the south west. This road which ran very close to the house, was subject to severe flooding in the winter and was re-routed about 1820 away from the large properties alongside it. In 1823 the Manor changed hands, and it is believed that in 1829 the villagers, who lived in a hamlet near the Church on the southern boundary of the estate, were moved, and their houses destroyed. This suggests that there were two sites of previous occupation around the church.
John Davies designed the new house, which is described as a small country house of yellow brick and dressed stone with a slate roof with lead ridges. It has a symmetrical main façade and shaped gables with many tall chimneystacks. The full-height projecting central porch was probably added later. There are three mid nineteenth century lodges, possibly designed by Davies, built of squared knapped flint, brick dressings and plain tile roofs. All are Grade II listed.
The four acre garden was most likely created soon after the house was built, with the present parkland probably laid out during the middle of the century, as there is no mention of parkland in the 1837 tithe awards, even though Milne’s 1791 map clearly shows a parkland setting for the house. The parkland was certainly in place when the 1st edition Ordnance survey maps were drawn. These show the house and park boundaries, similar to the earlier maps, with the Wallop Brook to the north, the River Test to the east, osier beds and the site of the medieval village was the limit to the south, with a minor road forming its western boundary; this road led to Broughton to the west and Houghton to the north. The main carriage and approach drives were from the northwest and west lodges, which were situated near the Broughton – Houghton road. There was also an entrance from Horsebridge Road to the northeast over the River Test. A garden was laid out to the south of the house with a semi-circular path; trees and shrubs enclosed the garden and separated the parkland from the garden except for a gap in the SW corner where a ha-ha may have been in place. More paths are visible among the trees and shrubs in the southern part of the garden with two leading to the Church and Churchyard. A sundial was noted near the house. A partially walled garden, or more formal garden was laid to the east of the house with more paths, trees and shrubs. Ancillary buildings, probably a stable block, were located to the north of the house.
In the 1980s a beech tree walk was noted on the skyline, but there is now (2006) no visible evidence from the church. The garden and parkland are still separated by hedges with a wire fence across the gap to retain the view. A swimming pool has been built to the south west of the house. There appears to be one main entrance from the most south-westerly lodge on the estate. Some fine trees remain in the park.
Bossington Manor has 11th century origins. It is unclear if the present Bossington House was built on the site of the old. The current house is early 19th century with most likely mid-19th century parkland and garden bordering the River Test on its eastern boundary.
HGT Research: June 2005, update August 2006