Cosham Park House

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HCC Site ID. 1732 Parish: Widley (E)
Designations: House LB II Area:
Access: Historic site Ownership: Private

Location and Site

The site is at the foot of the south slope of Portsdown Hill. It is sheltered and flat but low lying.

Historic development

A Cosham House existed in 1807, when it belonged to William Padwick the Elder, aka William of Cosham, a local landowner and navy victualler. The extended Padwick family owned land throughout South Hampshire and West Sussex. Kinchenton and Nicholls believed that between Enclosure in 1815 and the Tithe in 1840 the house was repositioned a few yards west. If so, the walled garden and orchard might have followed the outline of the old house and its yards.
The enclosure award of 1815 consolidated Padwick’s already substantial holdings to give him ownership of all the land around his house. Greenwood’s map of 1826 already shows parkland within the 1840 boundaries. In 1835 the house was described as being seated in the midst of parklike grounds, enclosed from the road by a shrubbery, beautifully ornamented with timber, with capital and productive garden and orchard. In 1840 the estate covered 33 acres. The house and garden accounted for around 7 acres. The remainder was meadowland. As now the main entrance was on the west side of the house, but access was via a semi-circular drive with entrances from what is now Cosham High street. The outbuildings and productive areas were SE of the house.
By the time the 1st OS map was produced in 1873, the estate had started to shrink. The grounds north of the house were being developed as attractive villa estate which became known as Cosham Park; Knowlsey Road took a few yards of the south boundary; and there were small losses to housing on the east boundary, along what is now Salisbury Road.
During WW1 the house became a convalescent home. It was subsequently apartments, a school, an ATS centre and an adult education institute. The main loss of grounds was after 1923 when the approach grounds and land south were sold as building plots. In 1924 the meadows at the rear, a traditional Cosham cricket field, were preserved when Buckland Road Congregational Church bought them for a sports ground. They now form Knowsley Road Tennis Courts.
Several houses in the district had ornamental grounds but it is believed that only Cosham Park House had parkland.

Current description

Cosham Park House is a grade II listed building and is now (2002) a Group Practice surgery. It faces west down Cosham Park Avenue and is separated from the road by low railings with a central car-wide gate. A modern building, Cosham Park House Training Centre, creates a court for public access to the south side of the house. Cosham Park House is surrounded by a narrow strip of land which, apart from token planting either side of the main gate, is tarmaced for parking. On the SW corner are two trees, identified by Kinchenton and Nicholls as Dawyk Beech, a fastigate form first grown in Peebles c1860 (trees could have TPOs). On the NW corner is a shrubbery. A rosemary hedge frames the steps to the original main entrance. There is a yew on the east boundary and a fir on the north boundary.

Summary and significance

An early c19 house and park that became the site of the development of East Cosham Villas in the mid C19 by the Padwick and Burrill families.
HGT Research:September 2002


Hampshire Record Office
21M65/F7/256/1-2 Widley Tithe Award and Map 1840
Q23/2/30/1-2 Cosham Enclosure Award and Map 1815
Watts, Geoffrey, 1986, The Padwicks of Catherington: a Genealogy and a History
Portsmouth Central Library – Local and Naval studies
Everitt, A T, Miscellaneous Collections Vol II, bound manuscript
Hampshire Telegraph
Other sources
Brown R., and Greer W, 1982 Fairdays and Tramways: The Story of Cosham, booklet from the Down Memory Lane series on Old Hampshire, pub. Milestone Publications Ltd.
Mitchell, Alan, 1974 A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe, pub. Collins
Kinchenton E, and Nicholls E. Cosham Park and its House:some notes on its History unpublished paper held at Havant Museum
Rayfield, Anida S, 1981 Discovering Cosham published by Portsmouth Further Education Centre 1981
Rogers, Peter – private notes

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Cosham Historic site Click for Disclaimer & copyright
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