|HCC Site ID:||1347||Parish:||Froxfield|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and site
Broadhanger lies in the village of Froxfield Green to the east of the A272 and a few kilometres to the north west of Petersfield, East Hampshire.
There were two sites originally, which were brought together through the marriage of Mary Ann Tahourdin (Flout’s Farm) and Thomas Cooke (Smythe’s Land). In 1832 Thomas Cooke received Smythe’s land from John Francis Kempt with a messuage, barn, cart house and 24 acres (HRO 26M75/17). Also in 1832, Richard Eyles first left Flout Farm with 65 acres (26.3ha) to Mary Ann Tahourdin (the mother) then sold it to the Reverend William Tahourdin, her son (HRO 26M75/17/ 26/34/35). The messuage was either enlarged or rebuilt and is presumably the core of the present Broadhanger. Mary Ann (the daughter and married to Thomas Cooke) inherited from her brother, William, who died intestate in 1834 (HRO 26M75/27).
The 1851 census shows Thomas Cooke having 210 acres (85 ha) and living at Flout House. However, he soon fell into debt and the farmhouse was sold in 1855 to John Greenwood, QC (HRO 26M75/43).
A Notice of Sale of 1855 describes: “A very desirable estate of 121 acres surrounding a genteel villa residence…. A modern house with cemented front, slate roof and French windows….opening under an ornamental verandah.” (HRO 26M75/40). A stable yard, farmyard, double barn, a capital walled garden, coach house, large granary are also described. A Sales map shows woodland to the NW and south with a belt of trees along the lane to the east. The field pattern of the Tithe map of 1841 is evident in the grounds. John Greenwood QC bought the property.
In 1858/59 the highway running immediately to the east of the house was moved by order of the Quarter Sessions further to the west of the house. Various census records show that the house now named Broadhanger was not the main Greenwood residence.
The OS maps 1869-1909 show that the house was extended considerably and the garden developed in the latter part of the 19th century. It is believed that Charles Greenwood, John’s son a naval officer, imported many specimen trees which were planted along the drive, some of which including a redwood survive today.
The Bolton and Paul greenhouses would have been installed by the Greenwoods in the late 19th century. John Greenwood died in 1871 and his wife inherited. The 2nd OS map 25”, 1896, shows an orchard to the west of the walled garden. The large walled garden has extensive greenhouses (Bolton and Paul, extant). A late 19th century postcard shows well-designed gardens with a flight of steps topped by urns leading to a sunken rose garden (Mrs Valli Murray Brown, private collection).
Fanny Greenwood died in 1899 and Charles inherited, selling almost immediately to Reginald Caulfeild who in turn died in 1907 (Times Archive On-Line). His wife inherited and lived there until her death in 1932. The gardens idyllically remembered by the Caulfeild granddaughter include a copper beech avenue, lawns, shrubs, a fernery, walnut trees and an area of parkland ‘across the lane’ (V Olivia Valentine, Hampshire Magazine, 1968).
The 3rd ed OS map 1909 shows a glazed link to the barn from the house as well as a glazed verandah. The grounds have a more designed look with paths, trees and clumps. The current owner and daughter of the previous owners believes that the barn was converted with heating and ornamental plants and used as a meeting place during the Caulfeild’s ownership.
On the death of Mrs Caulfeild the 8th Viscount Charlemont, a cousin, inherited then sold. The Sales details and Plan of 1953 show that the field structure of 1855 has become parkland with a developed garden to the west of the house (HRO 26M75/55). Floud Wood is heavily planted and a reservoir and engine house is shown. The owner recounts that Broadhanger was one of the first big houses in the area to have electricity. From this time until the next sale (exact date not known) there was a succession of tenants one of whom was a Marjorie Reed who may have been the next owner, Mrs Jack Reed who sold to Mr and Mrs Roger Watson in 1955.
Mrs Watson, a keen gardener, engaged Percy Cane then in his 70s to re-design parts of the garden particularly to the west and south of the house a plan of which is in the owner’s possession. The design includes a pergola, a rose garden, specimen trees, a pond with willows and a lower terrace with steps near the road to the south. Further eastwards an area of allées with vistas and glades and to the north, Mrs Watson contributed a conifer garden, a ginko, roses and azaleas. There was a cedar and a tulip tree to the north of the Greenwood beech grove near the tennis court, to the west of which was a rockery designed by Cane with ericas, a weeping cherry, a blue cedar, a magnolia and a water garden. Cane also designed black wooden benches, one of which remains (Sales Particulars, 2006; pers.com. Mrs Valli Murray Brown).
Mrs Watson died in 1974 and the house was used by the family as a second home until 1999 when Mr Watson died (Times Archive On-Line). In 2006/7 Mrs Valli Murray Brown bought Broadhanger with her sister, Bridget.
The shape of Percy Cane’s re-design in the late 1950s can still be seen and the pergola has been restored. Particularly noticeable is the typical Cane paving, running along the line of the house. The bones of the Victorian garden can also be traced, particularly a few specimen trees though the gales in the latter part of the 20th century brought down several. The walled garden remains in reasonable condition though the Bolton and Paul greenhouses require restoration. The outbuildings of the working farm – stable, farmyard, granary on staddlestones etc, remain (Site visit 2010).
A Georgian farmhouse extended in the 19th century with the old field patteran of the 18th century retained. A few remaining 19th century specimen trees, large walled garden and greenhouses. A Percy Cane part-edesign in 1957/8 still distinguishable, with a rebuilt pergola and signature paving.
HGT Research: October 2008, updated July 2010
The property was put on the market May/June 2013
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
26M75/17 Papers of the Broadhanger Estate 18th -20th centuries
26M75/26/27/34/35/40/43/55 Deeds (and copy court rolls) and papers relating to Floud Farm and the tything of Longhurst subsequently known as Broadhanger Estate and Smythe’s Land
21M/F7/95/1 &2 Tithe Map & Apportionment, 1841
159M88/179 Newspaper Sales Particulars 1932
Ordnance Survey Maps, Hampshire County Council
1st ed 25”. 1869-70
2nd ed 25” 1:2500 & 1:4000, 1896
3rd ed 25” 1909.
V Olivia Valentine, June/July/August/October 1968, Hampshire Magazine
Sales Details, Savills, 2006
Privately owned postcards. Mrs Valli Murray Brown, Broadhanger
Personal communication (pers.com.) Mrs Valli Murray Brown. Broadhanger
Plan of Garden Design, drawn by Percy Cane, 1958, from Mrs Valli Murray Brown
Census 1841-1901, web site accessed via Ancestry UK (subscription)
Times Archive On-line, accessed through library membership, web site