Down Grange

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HCC Site ID: 1200 Parish: Basingstoke
Designations: (see below) Area: c8 ha
Access: Public Access Ownership: (see below)

Designation: House, Service Block, House north of it, stables & garden walls all LB II
Ownership: House run as a Restaurant Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council
For more details, click the name above

Location and Site

Down Grange is situated about two miles south west of Basingstoke on the A30 road to Salisbury and Winchester between the large A30 intersection and the Kempshott roundabout.     The farmland that once surrounded Down Grange, between Pack Lane and the Winchester Road, is now predominately a sporting area with Down Grange retained as an entity for recreational use, within the urban conurbation of Basingstoke.

Historic development

It is likely that there was a dwelling here in the late 18th century, where John Davies and his family resided.  Buildings are shown on the first series of the O.S. maps in 1810.   The 1841 tithe map indicates that Augustus Robert Hankey, who was the owner, had leased the Grange to Cassandra Terry, and the Farm to William Whistler.  At this time, the Park, as we know it today, was meadow, woodland and pasture.  It is not clear if the kitchen garden had been constructed, but the plot was the same size and shape as shown on the 1872 O.S. map 6” to 1 mile.  In the tithe awards this piece of land was also included with the ‘House etc.’.   It was during the period between 1841 and 1872 that the Park was laid out more formerly, and was called ‘Down Grange Park’.  The farm is also noted as ‘Down Grange Farm’.  Previously the two properties had shared the same driveway, but in 1872 two new drives were shown from the Winchester Road to the house, with a lodge built at the driveway nearest Basingstoke.  The kitchen garden appeared to be planted as an orchard.
The 1910 O.S. map shows the layout of the park remained similar.  Glasshouses had been erected in the walled garden, and on the walls outside the garden nearest the house.  Steps are shown, possibly leading to a croquet lawn.  An avenue appears to have been cut through a copse alongside the Winchester Road.  The orchard is no longer shown in the walled garden.
By the time the property was for sale in 1937 only the drive nearest Basingstoke was in use.  Another lodge had been built, but the property had remained the same size of 28 acres (11.3 ha).
In 1965 the Down Grange and 20 acres (8 ha) were sold to the local council.  On the 1972 O.S. map a croquet lawn and tennis courts are within the parkland.  A single glasshouse within the walled garden had changed orientation by 90 degrees.  The glasshouses against the south wall of the garden seem to have remained the same.  An orchard is shown to occupy the south west corner of the garden.

Current description

The area is managed by the Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council for recreation and educational use.  The parkland around the house contains many mature trees and lawns and is used as a playing field.  The walled kitchen garden is an ‘eight hectare enclosed area with a wildlife pond and dipping platform, a Bothy, show allotments, beehives and colourful herbaceous borders. Original features still remain today, such as the formal yew hedges, the croquet lawn and gothic gates. There is also a level grassy area large enough for a 70ft by 50ft marquee’. From the walled garden an ornate garden gate, designed by Trevor Forrester and Richard Quinnell in 1993, leads to the sporting area and a car park (B & D 2013 online).   The House is now a Toby Carvery.

Summary

Down Grange is a small mid to late 19th century parkland which has been retained as a recreation and education area within the Basingstoke conurbation.  The house, now used as a restaurant, and the walled garden, Bothy, formal yew hedges and gothic gates remain.
HGT Research: 1998, updated March 2013

References

Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
10M57/P4   Plan of Basingstoke Allotments
21M65/F7/13/1-2 Tracing of tithe map & Awards
159M88/443     Sale notices
Maps
1810 OS 1″ to 1 mile
1872 OS 1st ed 6″
1910 OS 3rd 25″
1972 OS 25″
Map from Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council
Electronic sources
B & D 2013, online http://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/browse/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/walledgarden.htm [accessed 5 March 2013].
Other sources
Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council Publicity leaflet


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