|HCC Site ID:||1175||Parish:||Hedge End|
|Designations:||SINC, Local Gap, TPOs||Area:|| Was 100 acres in 1932
now 25 acres
|Access:||No Public Access except to Hotel||Ownership:||Private Hotel ownership|
Location and Site
Botleigh Grange Hotel lies south of the railway and north of the A334 at the norther edge of Hedge End. Access is between two narrow parkland areas grazed by highland cattle.
The house was probably built in the 17th century when the estate consisted of over 100 acres, with a freshwater lake. By 1829, the estate had grown to 333 acres with arable, pasture and woodlands studied with oak timber. Sales details of 1829 describe large walled gardens, a farmyard and the mansion in 30 acres of park. By 1868 the estate had been reduced to 100 acres and a new owner, Mr T H Foord, added a tower to the house. He also established a herd of 200 deer in the park. The 1st ed OS map (1869) shows a small pond and larger fishpond with two streams running from it and the 2nd ed (1896) indicated that the grounds have been developed further with fountains, as well many paths through woodland and possibly a weir and cascade were added at this time Foord died in 1917, the house was bought in 1918 and in 1919 the estate was broken up, with much agricultural land sold off. By the 1920s the house and grounds had become derelict and the deer long since disappeared. The grounds were used as an army surplus dump for a time. In 1923 the property was sold again with 25 acres of gardens and lakes. Bought by Mrs Beazley in 1932, it was converted to a private hotel. In 1949 the site was sold again, to the Plumpton family who created the Botleigh Grange Hotel. There has been gradual building round the hotel and road names reflect the history of the site.
All the land north of the lakes is residential housing; the grounds at the back of the hotel are still laid in formal fashion with a balustrade along the length of the buildings, steps down to grass, with a further short flight of steps leading through a further grassed area down to the southern edge of one of the two lakes. The stonework of the balustrade and the steps is in much need of restoration but the grounds are pleasant with several large, specimen trees including redwoods and two very tall araucaria. A second attractive lake exists west of the house behind the office complex. One of the lakes is run by a fishing club.
The house/hotel has been much extended in a style sympathetic to the old building. The two original lodge houses on the south off Grange Road are today private houses. Land to the east and west of the hotel are modern business premises with their own car parks. In 2001 a brief site visit showed that the weir and cascade were still there, though in poor condition. These were not able to be viewed on a visit in 2013.
Access to the hotel from Grange Road gates is through open grass parkland, to the front of the hotel with grazing highland cattle giving it a pastoral setting. Although the site is protected by existing legislation there is pressure for future building sites for which this green field parkland is a possible solution. In 2012, the Plumpton family who had run the hotel for 60 years, decided to sell. It was bought by restaureurs who are upgrading the hotel facilities but it is not clear whether this will include the gardens. The terrace at the rear of the hotel is attractive and some restoration of the balustrades and steps as well as the grounds in general would be a great asset to the setting of the hotel.
17th century house, estate of 100 acres and a freshwater lake, later with a deer park. Derelict after WWI, land reduced to 25 acres; currently a private hotel, access still through open parkland; specimen trees and two lakes.
HGT Research: 2002, updated 2013
1st ed OS map 25″ 1869
2nd ed OS map 25″ 1896
Bill Lyon A Tale of Two Villages: Hedge End and Botley
3rd ed OS map 25″ 1909
4th ed OS map 1940
Tithe map 1840 F7/28/1-2 HRO
M V Pharo The Strawberry Village
Joyce Blyth The Changing Face of Hedge End
Bill Lyon A Tale of Two Villages: Hedge End and Botley 1992