|HCC Site ID:||Parish:||Hambledon|
|Designations:||SDNP, SMR House LB II||Area:|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Lies to the south of Hambledon in the South Downs National Park, on one of two scarps.
A Roman villa site (excavated in 1910 by Sir Arthure Arnold) lies to the north of Bury Lodge. The surrounding fields were Celtic and contain remains of lynchets (ridges formed by pre-historic ploughing on slopes). The site was originally a hunting lodge belonging to the Dukes of Albemarle bought from Sir Hugh Symmonds. The self-designed park landscape was formed in the late 18th century by Sir Thomas Butler, a local landowner who purchased the estate and built the house in 1806 in Strawberry Hill Gothic style. The house is unusual with an austere façade. It is faced with flints with a slate roof. There are casement windows on the first floor and French windows with pointed heads on the ground floor, which also has a veranda formed by round flint columns with fluted wooden capitals and a slate canopy in the centre of which is a pediment supported on two columns. The northern entrance front has a porch flanked by octagonal buttresses containing a pointed archway with two doorways set in it, set at an angle to each other.
The design of the park was very simple and adopted the field boundaries surrounded on the north north-west and south sides by a belt. The Park is a very prominent feature of the landscape, situated on a west facing slope above the main Hambledon Road. Tree cover in the parkland follows the line of the ridge and consists of three belts running north-south; these are presumably old field boundaries as they divide the parkland into even-sized fields and continue the configuration of the surrounding fields (first edition OS map, 1860). A report from the 1980s refers to isolated trees within the park (predominantly oaks) needing replacements. Parkland at that time was tenanted out to a farmer and kept as pasture.
It has not been possible to view the site but from the road it appears to be well maintained.
Built on a site of Roman and Celtic historic interest, the parkland was designed simply using existing field patterns. Unusual, rather austere house built 1806 by Sir Thomas Butler in Strawberry Hill Gothic style.
Information: Report in HCC, 1980s
Hampshire Record Office
Pamphlets ‘Sir Thomas Butler’s Notes’
Notes from Hampshire County Council by the Historic Landscape Officer, 1995