Coldhayes (Coldhay Farm)

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HCC Site ID: 1400 Parish: Steep
Designations: SDNP, House LB II* Area:
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Image: JJ Media Group January 2021

Location and site

Coldhayes lies in the most northerly part of Steep parish 2 miles from Petersfield and 4 miles from Liss. The house itself lies 400 ft. above sea level in wooded country with steep sided hills called ‘hangers’. (Campion 1923) Within the estate Coldhayes Wood lies to the east of the house and Coldhayes hanger to the west.  Glascombe hanger had been part of the estate but is now separate (O.S.2nd ed. 6”)  In the early twentieth century the estate had covered 500 acres (203 hectares) (Campion). The soil is marl, clay and sandy loam with a subsoil of gravel and sand (Kelly 1895).

Historic development 

The estate came into being in the late nineteenth century made up of the lands of Coldhay farm and other lands which until that time had been unenclosed. In 1869  the Rev. George Horsley Palmer became the new owner. He was the brother of the Earl of Selborne and could afford the services of the noted architect, Alfred Waterhouse, who designed a large mansion for him. It stood in an elevated position with fine views over the surrounding countryside(Campion).  The land to the south and west was terraced with lawns and ornamental flowerbeds.  A belt of trees, both broad leaf and conifer, surrounded the lawns and the house (O.S.2nd ed.25”).  The family of the Rev. Horsley Palmer occupied the house for about 70 years. They allowed the house to be used as a Red Cross hospital during World War I (Campion 1923).  By 1932  the flower beds in the middle of the lawn had been replaced by a pool and a tennis court had been added (O.S. 4th ed.25”).  In the 1940s there were new owners, the Blacker family (Times Online), who kept the garden structure but made additions to it of a swimming pool, a summerhouse and a croquet lawn (HRO 38M82/48).    In 1994 the estate was auctioned.  The house with its gardens, grounds, woodland and pasture formed Lot 1  (HRO 38M82/48).

Current description

The present owners are Geoffrey allow some parties into their grounds and are maintaining the gardens and terraces (pers.  com. 2008).  Google Earth (online 2010) shows outline of the gardens that they have always had.


Coldhayes was built on high ground with terraced gardens below the house designed by Alfred Waterhouse,late 19th century. Notwithstanding fashionable additions, the basic shape remains; however, since 1944 the house, garden, some grounds and Coldhayes Wood have been separated.
HGT Research: April 2010


Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
38M82/48 Auction 1994
O.S. 2nd ed. 25” and 6” 1897
O.S. 4th ed. 25” 1932
O.S. Mastermap 2005
Campion P.,1923.  The Wessex Series: A Recent History of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, J. Looker Ltd, Dorset.
Kellys Directory 1895
Whitman,  W.M.,  ‘The Origins of Steep’ Petersfield Papers No.4, undated
Electronic Sources
Pers comm. Email  G. Dale to L. Beale  15.5.2008
Google Earth, 2010

Our address

Steep No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.037968678289374, -0.9167969235568307

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