|HCC Site ID:||1797||Parish:||Colden Common|
|Designations:||SDNP, House LB II* SMR||Area:|
|Access:|| No public access to house and park.
Public access to Walled garden – Brambridge Garden Centre
|Ownership:|| Multiple, private ownership (house and gardens)
Old walled garden – Brambridge Garden Centre
Location and site
Brambridge Park is situated in the Lower Itchen Valley, on Kiln Lane, between Otterbourne and Colden Common. The road bends round the site, crossing a channel of the Itchen which runs through the property.
Gilbert Welles of a local Catholic family, secured a manor at Otterbourne in 1566 and a later Gilbert Welles was granted nearby Brambridge by Charles I in 1636. A mansion house has existed on the site since the at least the early 18th century. The Smythe family (the most famous member of which was Maria Fitzherbert, ‘wife’ of the Prince of Wales, son of George III) was in residence in the latter half of the 18th century but the current building was partly re-built after a fire in 1872 with a design by Matthew Digby Wyatt.
A striking aspect of the gardens is the way the River Itchen flows through with bridges, waterfalls and cascades forming part of the design. By the end of the 19th century, the gardens included two acres (0.8 ha) of walled kitchen garden and one acre (0.4 ha) of unwalled kitchen garden which was partly a drying ground and with the gashouse which served the house with central heating. There was a large stable block.
A feature of the grounds is the double lime avenue running east to west through the parkland, which is reputed to date back to Charles II era and to have been pollarded for gunstock in Napoleonic times.
The house is now divided into flats and houses have been built in the stable block, while the East Lodge is a separate dwelling. Seven acres of the gardens remain and several specimen trees can be found including a magnificent magnolia. There is a large lawned area which sets off the building to the north and the river with the bridges and small cascades remain a significant feature of the grounds. The kitchen gardens were sold off towards the end of the 20th century and have become Brambridge Garden Centre; some of the old walls remain and the unwalled area serves as a car park and active model railway site. The lime avenue was sold off many years ago to a farmer; in 2012 the limes have regnerated and appear to be in better shape than they have been for many years. The fabric of the building is not in a good state and appears to lack sufficient maintenance. Though not in good condition, ironwork and stone balustrades leading to the ha-ha are interesting features. The site is owned and managed by the Development company M25.
Early 16th century mansion, rebuilt after a fire in 1872. A double lime avenue reputedly from the 17th century and walled garden now in separate ownerships. Parts of the 19th century gardens with river and cascades remain.
HGT Research: April 2002 updated 2012