|HCC Site ID:||1382||Parish:||Petersfield|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private dwellings|
Location and Site
The site of Broadland House lies close to Sheet and the roundabout which takes the slip road of the A3 onto the A272 at the north eastern edge of Petersfield town. The grounds are now much reduced but what is left is well hidden by mature trees.
Broadland House is thought to be of Georgian origin but nothing is shown on the maps, Taylor (1759), Milne (1797), the 1st ed 1”(1810) or Greenwood (1826); if there was a house it was likely to have been a modest farmhouse. A house with park-like grounds is, however, shown on the 1st ed OS map, 1870. The residence is situated in the triangle between a road leading to Sheet village and a road which leads to and crosses the London- Portsmouth railway (the present Kingsernden Lane). The gardens appear to be well-established with park-like areas (shaded on the 1st ed OS map) round the house, and a walled orchard on its eastern side. A drive sweeps in from the road to the south, up to the north side of the house. There is a tree-lined boundary on the western side of the drive. By the time of the 3rd ed OS map, 1909, additional buildings have been built, more trees planted to the south west of the house; the orchard is no longer shown though the walls which surrounded it are.
By the mid-20th century, the by then not inconsiderable estate was owned by Lady Mary Kelley. In 1946 following her death, the estate was sold to Jack le Grice, then headmaster of the Preparatory part of Churcher’s College, situated a few hundred yards away from Broadland House. No longer needed by the college, premises had to be found for the Preparatory school. Le Grice decided to buy nearby Broadland House, which stood in 25 acres of grounds.
In 1946 there was a woodland walk to the right of the drive, peppered with azaleas. It continued round to the back of the house and between the house and the walk which was sometimes used as an open air theatre. (These garden features are clearly shown on the 3rd ed OS map, 1909). To the left of the drive there was similar strip of land backed by trees, in the middle of which stood a giant walnut tree. From 1946 onwards the grounds were substantially changed to meet the needs of a school, now known as Broadlands Preparatory School. The old A3 approaching the Farnham fork lay much closer to the bank of Shear Hill. The Farnham road formed what is now known as Town Lane, Sheet, which ran along the eastern boundary of the grounds, with Kingsfernden Lane forming the part of the Western boundary. The northern boundary of the grounds reached nearly as far as School Lane at Sheet. Two extensive playing fields to the east and north east of the main buildings were created; there were different levels of ground in this area. Vegetable gardens, which supplied the needs of the school, lay behind the house stretching as far as the Farnham Road.
In 1964, the school ceased to exist in its own right when the pupils were transferred to Little Abbey School at Liss. It is likely that the house and grounds were seen as more valuable for potential development. Mr le Grice retired and bought the plot at the end of the drive (house now called Kingswood).
Gradually over the next few years the site was redeveloped. The main house, previously arranged round a courtyard, was remodelled extensively in the 1960s and 70s and reduced in size. All that remains of the original house are the two front rooms arranged round the main hall. Three new properties were built on the left hand side of the drive: Bramber, Chestnuts, Alverstone next to a brick bungalow, the Cottage, which was one of the original buildings housing masters who lived on the premises. A house was also built at the top of the drive on the site of some classroom blocks, now called Leyland. At the western end of its garden there is a listed greenhouse, and in the northern part there had been a knot garden. Opposite a house now called Larrabee, was built on a range of sheds.
As well as the main Broadland House, six further dwellings now stand in the small remainder of the 25 acres. Hampshire County Council changed the path of the old A3 at the top of Shear Hill, moving the road closer to Broadland House, and taking part of the grounds to facilitate this. They closed off the entrance to the Farnham road, renaming it Town Lane. Later still, they took more land to create the A3 Midhurst Link, which runs from the top of Shear Hill down onto the Petersfield Bypass (A3), and installed a larger roundabout.
What is left of the grounds is hidden by the mature trees on the site.
A 19th century modest country house with park-like grounds, developed as a school 1946-64. Now seven dwellings hidden by matures trees on the reduced site near the A3 Midhurst- link, Petersfield.
Information: HGT 2013
Much of the text comes from The History of Broadlands Preparatory School Timothy Salter, 2011, printed by Petaprint
CCA Churcher’s College Archive
Hampshire Record Office