Braishfield Manor (Pitt House)

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HCC Site ID: 1420 Parish: Braishfield
Designations: House LB II* Area: 2 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Location and Site

Braishfield Manor is situated north of Braishfield Village centre and set back from the Kings Somborne Road. The Village lies on the northern edge of the Hampshire basin with chalk to the north.

Historic Development

Pitt house was probably built mid 18th century on an Elizabethan core, it was the centre of a farming estate. There were stables beside the entrance gates and a long drive leading up the hill to the house. The OS 1st ed 25”1870 map shows a small cultivated garden on the south front of the house and a larger one divided into beds on the west side, this is screened from the adjacent Lodge by a line of trees. The garden slopes away from the house to the south.

In 1903 the property was bought by Mr A King who renamed it The Manor and then Braishfield Manor. In 1909 the house was enlarged by the addition of two wings. During the thirty years that they lived there Mr and Mrs King made many alterations, they laid out the garden with straight paths and steps, planted a rose garden, borders of herbaceous plants and topiaried shrubs, they extended the terrace in front of the house and put in a second drive entering from the lane on the east, to serve the rear of the house. The stables were converted into garages. It was probably the Kings who planted trees along the boundary with the road, replacing the iron railings removed during WWI.

During the WWII Robin Merton lived in Braishfield Manor, he was only a child at the time but remembers the extensive grounds and mysterious shrubberies as a wonderful place for children to play. There was a productive vegetable garden and a formidable gardener to look after it all. Old photographs show the rose garden, borders, straight paths and steps introduced by the Kings.

Current Description

In the 1970s the garden was simplified, a swimming pool replaced the rose garden but the surrounding box hedge was kept, and a hard tennis court was made. The next owner planted two vineyards c.1980, a small one near the house and a larger one in a field of Pitt Farm. Both of these were removed in the 1990s and turned into paddocks. He also converted the stables into a house.

The present owners bought the estate in 1994 and commissioned the landscape architect Malcolm Shennon to redesign the garden. He recommended extensive changes, chiefly landscaping the prevailing slope with terraces, and using it to make water features of cascades and a large pond. They have planted trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. The estate includes The Barn, the former stables of the Manor, and The Gatehouse the former stables of the Lodge. There are also 364ha of arable land, and 81ha of woodland.

Summary

A mid 18th century Georgian brick farmhouse with an Elizabethan core, extended and altered early in the 20th century, when fine gardens were laid out, and the house was renamed Braishfield Manor. In 1994, landscape architect, Michael Shennon redesigned and enlarged the garden, with large pond, cascades, and new terraces.

HGT Research: February 2005


Our address

Address:
Braishfield No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
GPS:
51.03494441688514, -1.465773582458496

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