|HCC Site ID:||1060||Parish:||Fawley|
|Access:||Access to hotel||Ownership:||Fountain Court Hotel|
Location and Site
Furzedown House (Fountain Court Hotel) is situated on Frost Lane on the eastern side of Hythe.
The 1st ed OS map 1870 (HCC), shows a small house in a modest estate planted with plenty of trees. Henry Pigeon was the owner and resident in 1891 and 1897 according to Mercier & Crockford and Kelly directories. The 4th ed OS map 1932 (HCC), shows a bigger house with one large conservatory or greenhouse and one small one behind. The gardens have been developed with a fountain in front of the house and a new entrance and sweeping drive round a lawned area. The estate was for sale in 1950, described as having 11 beds, greenhouses, farmery…..3 cottages and about 15a of pasture (159M88/581 HRO). At some time in the 1970s, the house became a Fountain Court Hotel, together with the gardens comprising the entrance and sweeping drive, owned by Mr Stewart (PG). Around 1985, the hotel was sold on but the new owner only bought the building and a small part of the garden just beyond the fountain. A tarmac car park was built. A house (belonging to the owner of the hotel) was built adjacent to the car park and extending into the remaining part of the old garden. Much of the old grounds was being developed for housing at this time (personal communication).
The OS map around 1980 (HCC) shows the hotel surrounded by a housing estate with a small piece of unbuilt-on garden extending along Frost Lane.
In 2000 a site visit showed that the hotel and its small garden have a shabby appearance although it was listed as a 4* British Tourist Board hotel. The remaining original gardens not belonging to the hotel are very overgrown but evidence of the tree planting and the sweeping drive can be seen with sweet chestnuts, gums, copper beeches and on the Frost Lane boundary, laurel and rhododendrons. Stone gateposts with some decorative cast iron up each of the inner sides, which formed the new entrance from Frost Lane, though overgrown, are extant. The remaining grounds are the subject of current development and agreement has been reached for 3 houses with the rest of the grounds developed by the Parish Council for public open space. The Parish Council will have to fund any restoration of the grounds which once the brambles and undergrowth is cleared, would lend themselves to create a woodland garden much as before. This land retains many of its old trees. (Information as at 2000).
In 2013, the area described above has still not been built on, nor has any part of it has become public open space. The hotel is under new management.
Once one of the prominent Victorian houses, Furzedown House is now a hotel (Fountain Court) standing in only a small part of the original grounds, with a large stone fountain. Most of the grounds have been sold off for housing.
Information: 2000 and 2013
HRO Hampshire Record Office
159M88/581 Sales details 1950
GP – personal communication, Graham Parkes
Hampshire County Council