|HCC Site ID:||1944||Parish:||Chilworth|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Multiple Private|
Image: as rebuilt after the fire of 1893 http://www.willisfleming.org.uk/estates/hants_and_iow/Chilworth_Tower
Location and site
Chilworth Tower is situated in part of Lords Wood, to the north of Southampton. The land north of the house drops into a valley where there is a lake and streams flowing westwards into Tanners Brook and the River Test.
Chilworth Tower was built in 1854-6 on land leased from the Willis Fleming estate by the artist Richard Cockle Lucas. The house included a viewing tower, and a gallery where he created his sculptures (Hampshire Magazine). A few years later it was sold to Mr Brinton, a local magistrate, and by 1868 the grounds and farm buildings were developed (OS 1st ed). A fire in 1893 destroyed most of the house (HRO TOP 69/3/1), it was then rebuilt on a different ground plan and for the next half century had various occupiers. In 1946 it was again up for sale as an “ideal miniature estate of about 8¾ acres” (Times online), and was bought by Mr Maurice Durant. Durant added a further 14 acres (5.66ha), and improved the grounds with planting and earth movement. He used spoil resulting from the construction of the M27 to create a barrier between his land and the motorway (White archives). Durant also converted the house into separate flats (HRO 22M92/54). By 1998 the property was too big for Durant to manage and his grandson Richard White bought it. In 2006 the house and 2.9 acres (1.17ha) of land was put up for sale (Knight Frank brochure). It was eventually sold on for development to Banner Homes. The old house was completely demolished and a new building, consisting of eight residences round a courtyard, was built with surrounding communal grounds of 2.75 acres (1.11ha) (Daily Echo Property&Homes). Chilworth Tower Farm and the old Lodge were not included in the sale. Some of the farm buildings that have been made into a modern residence with just less than 20 acres (8.09ha) of the former Chilworth Tower grounds.
What was Chilworth Tower is now in separate units; the old house has been replaced by a modern development of eight residences with 2.75 acres (1.11ha) of communal grounds, built by Banner Homes. The greater part of the estate and farm buildings are in private ownership (same family since 1946) : the owners have made one of them into a modern residence for their own use. The former enclosed garden is a paddock with a cross-country riding course round the lake.
Chilworth tower, first built mid 19th century, was developed into a small estate with a farm. In 1893 the house was destroyed by fire and then rebuilt on a different ground plan. It was bought by Maurice Durant in 1946 and the house converted into flats, he also bought more land to make an estate of approximately 23 acres (9.30ha). In 1998 Durant’s grandson, Richard White, bought the estate, a year later the lodge was sold to a private owner and, in 2006, the house was sold to Banner Homes for development. The old house was demolished and Banner Homes built a completely new block of eight modern residences, named Chilworth Heights with 2.75 acres (1.11ha) of communal grounds.. The remainder of the estate, known as Chilworth Tower Farm, is still in private ownership.
HGT Research: 2009
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
TOP69/3/1 Newspaper no date
22M92/54 Schedule of work of building by R R Riggs
Ordnance Survey 1st ed 1868/71/72
Knight Frank sales brochure
Daily Echo Property&Homes 01.04.2009
Hampshire Magazine June 1966 P35-6 article by Fawcett
Archives of private owner