Coopers Bridge

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HCC Site ID. 1838 Parish: Bramshott & Liphook
Designations: CA, SMR 579 Area: 6.5ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Photo: House from the valley and lake – valley early industrial site – garden and house Inigo Triggs 1911

Location and Site

This is a countryside of small hills divided by steep sided wooded valleys. Soils are sandy overlying Greensand Beds (24). The Wakener’s Stream is a tributary of the southern River Wey. There is evidence of early industrial work using a water control system of leats and dammed lakes in the bottom of the valley. This water system was probably later used as a landscape enhancement or as a sporting amenity. Situated on the outskirts of the Parish of Bramshott and Liphook Coopers Bridge was carved out of the Ludshott Manor Estate in 1911. The house and part of the garden were designed by the arts and crafts architect Inigo Triggs ARIBA. Most notable are the formal garden with sunken pool. One greenhouse remains as does part of a kitchen garden and orchard. There is pleasant early twentieth century and contemporary planting and much is made of the beauty of the views especially to and from the main lake.

Historical Development

A series of dammed lakes and leats may have been developed to provide power for iron workings or as a regulatory system for the River Wey water meadows. At a later date such water works could have provided fisheries, shooting, irrigation for farmland or another estate amenity. The Ludshott Manor Map of 1739 (1+2) shows a dam and a lake to the east of Tonbridge Lane. By the time of the 1846 Tithe Map (3) the lake had diminished in size though it is no smaller when the 1869, 1897 and 1910 (4-6) Ordinance Survey Maps were published. The only thing to have changed in over a hundred years was that there was far less scrub on the valley sides and pasture on the upper slopes had been cleared of trees.

Inigo Triggs 1911

Formal sunk garden 1911 by Inigo Triggs photo 1981

Coopers Bridge was designed for Captain Laurence Beaumont Chamberlain by Inigo Triggs ARIBA in 1911. The land was formerly part of the Ludshott Manor Estate and included flat and sloping pastures and the western part of the valley of the Wakener’s Stream complete with leats, dams and lake, 38 acres in all. Triggs was a partner in Unsworth and Triggs by 1912 and was producing many designs for small country houses in and around East Hampshire of which Coopers Bridge is a typical example (8-12). He published an article in The Studio in 1915 where he laid out his design principles and included a photograph and plans of Coopers Bridge. The house and the sunken garden with pool and terrace were set on an artificially banked flat platform sited above the valley (24). This position allowed splendid views down to the extended lake and its elegantly planted surroundings. Tree and shrubbery planting was established along a new approach drive. By 1915 Captain Chamberlain was trying to let the property eventually selling for £4,400 to Falconer B Larkworthy (2+13+14). Sales particulars mention ‘trout fishing’ and the latest modern conveniences including a water supply pumped from springs in one of the lakes. These changes were shown on the 1937 Ordinance Survey Maps (16). The main lake had clearly been increased in size. The property remained with the Larkworthy family being eventually inherited by Mary Larkworthy who remained there as Mrs. Molly Potts until 1961. She ran a successful chicken farm at Coopers Bridge specializing in fancy breeds (11+2+14+15).

House and grounds changed hands four times up to 2014 with fewer acres but increasing price. In 1981 Messenger May Baverstock stressed the beauty of the grounds and the designer Inigo Triggs, mentioning the sunken pool garden, greenhouses, lawns, banks, shrubberies and of course the stream and lake. Similarly in 1988 Hamptons Estate Agency stressed the same amenities expanding on the ‘charming sunk garden’, rhododendrons and the stream, lake and trout fishing. In 2013 the then owner Sally Patterson organized an article in Hampshire Life on house and grounds preparatory to selling. The 2014 Ordinance Survey Maps show Coopers Bridge remarkably unchanged from 1911 (17-23).

Current Description

Coopers Bridge was bought in 2014 by John Evans and his fiancé Liz and they have set about a programme of restoration to both house and grounds (23). A great deal remains. The sunk approach drive passes through mature trees and rhododendrons. Some of the wall shrubs around the house have been trimmed but root stocks indicate they are part of the early twentieth century planting. Inigo Triggs walled, sunk pool garden is still fed from a connection to one of the roofs. Planting round it is modern. The banked flat platform on which the house was placed is in top class order. At the rear of the house one greenhouse remains and a set of unusual c.1940 concrete slab raised beds. Some apple trees of about one hundred years old are being pruned back to shape. Spring bulbs are doing well on the banks dropping down to the lake and there are drifts of mainly white bluebells that could well date back to nineteenth century plantings. Leats and lake remain and form a major feature of garden views and an enhancement to the whole landscape of the valley. Native wild flowers grow in the shallows and on the far side of the lake is a fine Larch, a large Acer, golden Irish Yews and more Rhododendrons. Scrub and bamboo has been cleared away (24A-K).

Summary and Significance

The sunk garden with its formal pool set in an angle of the house was designed by arts and crafts architect Inigo Triggs ARIBA as was the house. They are set on a contemporaneous artificial banked platform overlooking a lake and stream set in a valley of great charm. Predating 1911 there remains an older early industrial and amenity landscape.
HGT Research: Spring 2015


1. 1739 Godsen Map of Ludshott Manor Estate held at Liphook Heritage Centre.
3. 1846 Tithe Map held at Liphook Heritage Centre.
4. 1869 O S 6” Map of Hampshire held National Library Scotland.
5. 1897 O S 25” Map of Hampshire held HCC.
6. 1910 O S 25” Map of Hampshire held HCC.
16. 1937 O S 25” Map of Hampshire held HCC.
21. 2013 and 2014 O S Master Map and Aerial Survey of Hampshire held HCC.
10. Wendy Bishop: unpublished Dissertation P18 for MA in Garden History for University of Bristol September 2011.
11. Kelly’s Directories of Hampshire 1907-1939.
12. Pete Smith: The Motor Car and the Country House; English Heritage 2010.
15. Roger Chatterton Newman: A Hampshire Parish The Petersfield Bookshop 1976.
Other Sources
2. Adrian Bird in interview 16 March 2015.
7. Frith Postcard of Tunbridge Lane where it crosses Little Cooper’s Bridge (Hobbs Bridge) held at Liphook Heritage Centre.
8. The Studio Yearbook 1915 P 15: Small Country Houses and Cottages P12-21.
9. RIBA Journal obituary of Inigo Triggs 1923.
13. Cubitt and West Register of Furnished Houses P1083 held at Haslemere Museum Library, Surrey.
14. Laurence Giles notes held T26CB held at Liphook Heritage Centre.
17. Sales particulars by Messenger May Baverstock July 1981.
18. Sales particulars by Hampton’s June 1988.
19. Photograph by Michael Sargent Studio, 5A Castle Street, Farnham, Surrey, No 8890/12 for Messenger May Baverstock Estate Agents, 1988.
20. Keats sales particulars for The Lodge at Coopers Bridge 7 May 1999.
22. Article by Emma Coulton in Hampshire Life July 2013.
23. John Evans in interview 23 April 2015 plus site visit.
24. Photographs of Coopers bridge demesne 23 April 2015.
A. Looking east up the valley of the Wakener’s Stream.
B. The banked platform on which the house was built.
C. Sunken garden with pool fed by roof caught rainwater designed Inigo Triggs.
D. Sunken garden by Inigo Triggs 1911.
E. The lake looking towards the house designed by Inigo Triggs in 1911.
F. And FF. Planting around the lake.
G. Sunk approach drive with mature trees.
H. House with loggia and terrace designed Inigo Triggs in 1911.
I. And II. The remaining greenhouse with raised beds, ventilation, water tank and iron half-moon plates.
J. Concrete slab frames in the kitchen garden.
K. Apple trees in the orchard.

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Bramshott No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
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