|HCC Site ID:||1611||Parish:||Unparished|
|Designations:||Gatehouse LB II||Area:||9.31ha|
|Access:||Access to School||Ownership:||Southwick Estate?|
Location and Site
Roche Court lies nine miles north-west of Portsmouth and one mile to the north of Fareham, just outside the town. The A32 forms the western boundary of the site and Pook Lane has marked the southern boundary. With the building of the M27 motorway there is now a slip road to it leading to Junction 10 of the motorway just south of Pook Lane. The Court lies in flat, mainly open country.
The origins of Roche Court date back to medieval times when it was an ecclesiastical estate. Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, built the original house, the core of which still remains (Burton Musselwhite 1991, 10). Through inheritance, the estate passed into the family of Brocas de Beaurepaire in 1341 and in 1661 into the Gardiner family (HRO B1058 HB/BRO). By the mid18th century the estate was 579.25 acres (234.5 ha) with the house surrounded by parkland which was fenced by the end of that century (HRO 20M48/236; Milne map 1791). In 1808, an impressive gatehouse, now Grade II, designed by Jeffrey Wyatville, was added (AHBR 6315). The tithe map shows that parkland extended on each side of the entrance drive south and north of it, with a belt of trees providing privacy from the Fareham to Wickham Road on the west to northerly boundary. Change came in 1868 when John Whalley Smythe Gardiner died and the estate passed to his daughter, Mabel. On her marriage in 1887 to Henry Rawstorne the estate passed to him. Mabel died five years later and the estate was tenanted (Times online). In 1907, Henry Rawstorne employed Walter Cave, an Arts and Crafts architect, to make alterations and additions to the house. To the east of the house, a partly walled kitchen garden was built while the rest of the grounds were left unaltered (OS map 1910; Patrick 2009, 15-23). Henry Rawstorne then moved in. During the time of his heir, his daughter Lady Fane de Salis, the estate was sold to the Southwick estate. The fourth edition OS map, published between 1938 and 1942, shows parkland surrounding the house and gardens. From World War 2 until 1960 the estate was put to military and then naval use. Since 1961 it has been used to house Boundary Oak School, a boys’ preparatory school (www.boundaryoak).
The current name for Roche Court is Boundary Oak School, which was founded about 1918 and moved to Roche Court in 1961. The original buildings of Roche Court have been adapted to meet the needs of a boys’ boarding school and, of necessity, a number of new blocks have been built for specialized use, such as the Art, Design and Technology Block(www.boundaryoak). The entrance drive forms the southern boundary of the school and includes the lodge and gatehouse. The school grounds extend to the north of the lodge and to the west of the school complex, with a belt of trees remaining bordering the Fareham to Wickham Road. This belt extends further north to the furthest point of the previous parkland. To the north and north east, a shelter belt of trees separates the school grounds from the previous parkland. A few parkland trees remain south of the drive and a solitary Cedar of Lebanon in the east parkland (site visit 2009). The rest appears to be under pasture and is let to a farmer (2009). A track delineates the eastern boundary and Pook Lane forms the southern boundary of land which had been parkland (Bing maps, April 2012).
Roche Court was a medieval ecclesiastical estate, later owned by two families, the Brocas of Beaurepaire and then the Gardiners. Parkland around the main house would appear to have been established during the 18th century and remained into the early to mid 20th century. The remains of the former estate include: a belt of trees bordering the Fareham to Wickham Road; a few parkland trees south of the entrance drive to the school, a solitary Cedar of Lebanon east of the school complex; the early 19th century lodge and gatehouse by Wyattville; the early 20th century Walter Cave redesigned house: and some kitchen walls. The estate was managed on traditional lines until its sale in 1936, since when it served the armed forces until 1960 before becoming a preparatory school for boys. Part of the former parkland is now farmed.
HGT Research: April 2010
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
B1058 HB/BRO Brocas of Beaurepaire and Gardiner of Roche Court
20M48/236 Size of estate and crops 1757
21M65/F7/86/1 & 2 Tithe map and apportionment
OS – Ordnance Survey maps from Hampshire County Council
3rd ed. 25” and 6” 1910; 4th ed. 6” 1938-42
Colour raster 2005; Mastermap 1:2500 2005
Burton & Musselwhite An Illustrated History of Fareham Ensign pub.1991
Patrick, J., 2009, Fareham Past and Present, Book V1 Vol, V11 pp. 15-23
AHBR – Archaeology and Historic Buildings record 6315 http:/.hants.gov.uk/historicenvironment
Bing maps www.bing.com/maps (accessed 21.4.2012)
Boundary Oak School www.boundaryoak.co.uk (accessed1.12.2009)
Times online www.timesonline.co.uk (accessed 1.12.2009)