Burghclere Manor

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HCC Site ID: 1208 Parish: Highclere
Designations: LB Grade II* Area:
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Burghclere Manor is situated in Old Burghclere 3½ miles west of Kingsclere, and ½ a mile east of the A34 Winchester to Newbury road. The Manor (listed grade II*), the Church of All Saints (listed grade I) and Manor Farm (an historic farm complex, including 3 grade II listed buildings) lie in the hamlet of Old Burghclere. The church is a landmark building within the settlement, it’s position very marked in relation to the Manor house and farm curtilage.

Clere, which possibly includes BURGHCLERE and HIGHCLERE, is described in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as consisting of 10 hides in the time of Edward the Confessor and 7½ hides in 1086, and held by the Bishop of Winchester for the support of the monks of Winchester. In 1167 and 1206 there is a reference to Clere Episcopi. As early as 1208–9 Burghclere and Highclere had each its own reeve, and soon after they are separately accounted for on the Pipe Rolls of the see of Winchester.

The now deserted mediaeval village of Old Burghclere located to the north west of Manor Farm can only be seen as irregularities in the ground, as most traces have been destroyed by ploughing. The village had its own church, and the manor house was a good example of an early fourteenth century aisled hall building, and ‘like many wealthy medieval rectories it was built on a grand scale’.

Building accounts of 1445/52 record payments to a carpenter for building a barn of 8 bays and 2 porches on the Bishop of Winchester’s manor farm at Old Burghclere, and dated by dendrochronology to 1449. In the 1540s, Burghclere was a quiet village admired by Dean Field, Chaplain to Elizabeth I and rector here at the end of his life.

The Manor remained in the hands of the See of Winchester until 1551 when Edward IV granted it to William Fitzwilliam, and it remained in his family until Richard Kingsmill acquired it in 1577. It then passed by descent to the Lucy family. It was conveyed to Sir Robert Sawyer in 1671 and handed down through his daughter to the Earl of Pembroke.

In 1825, the living was granted to Rev George Herbert, 3rd son of the 1st Earl of Carnarvon, but by 1838, the church of All Saints had fallen into disrepair, and it was not until 1861 that the church was repaired and reopened. Major changes at the end of the 19th century resulted in the building of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway, and in 1885 the station at Burghclere was opened, (one of the victims of the Beeching Closures in the 1960s) to serve the larger village of Kingsclere.

The Tithe Map of around 1839 describes the house as the Parsonage House, with the paddock to the south described as part of Church Field. The OS map of 1873 shows an elaborate garden with long walks to the south from the kitchen gardens, and linking with informal paths from the lawns to the south of the house. From here a circular walk leads to a small wilderness at the south west corner of the gardens. A pathway leads from the front door of the manor across the courtyard with steps into the church yard. A line of mature trees are indicated beyond the southern wall of the church. A large conservatory is shown at the south east corner of the manor house. The house was described as the Rectory until 1911 when it became Burghclere Manor, during which time it remained the property of the Earl of Carnarvon. By this time, the wilderness has been reduced to a circular walk, and the long walks disappeared and 3 paddocks indicated, In 1951 the Manor was sold for £13,000, and by the end of the 20th century the walks are simplified and details unrecorded. In 2010, the gardens consist of informal lawns, enclosed by the mature tree planting of the 19th and early 20th century.

In 2007 the Manor was bought by Mr & Mrs Charles Mayfield (the newly elected chairman of the John Lewis Partnership) and major renovation works were set in train by the new owners. As part of the planning process, an archaeological report was commissioned, and inspection during the process of renovation identified the significance of the designation, and confirmed the historic development of the Rectory/ Manor house. During this period works were also carried out within the curtilage. New gates were installed and the gravelled terrace to the west front, the walled kitchen gardens and Mews House reinstated.

Summary

The Manor at Old Burghclere, originally built as an aisled hall house during 12th century, and the Church of All Saints and Manor Farm lie within the hamlet of Old Burghclere. The church is a landmark building within the settlement, it’s relationship with the Manor house typical of medieval and later arrangements into the 19th century. Old Burghclere was a quiet village admired by Dean Field, Chaplain to Elizabeth 1st and rector here at the end of his life. In 1692, the estate was inherited by Margaret – wife to the Earl of Pembroke ancestor of the Earls of Carnarvon, and continued in the family until 1951. Since 2007 the Manor is the residence of Mr Charles Maybury formerly of Ewhurst Park.

The proposed extent of the park includes Burghclere Manor, Manor Farm and buildings, and the Church of All Saints.

Significance:

The Manor is an important example of an early Aisled Hall House with many original features extant. The relationship between Manor House, Church, Manor Farm and the presence of the now deserted medieval village in the vicinity gives significance to the landscape of this hamlet.

Landscape Planning Status:

The Manor, Church, and Manor Farm and site of the Deserted Medieval Village lie within the Area of High Archaeological Potential.
Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: June 2010

Click here to visit British Listed Building record for this location


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