|HCC Site ID:||1013||Parish:||Lyndhurst|
|Designations:||CA, House LB II*, LP, NFNP||Area:||29.5 ha|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Girl Guide Association|
Location and Site
Situated in the New Forest, the original house was a 16th century timber-framed lodge built for the Forest Keeper, and called “Cox Leyes”, parts of it remain encased in the present house. By mid 18th century, the land was owned by Sir Phillip Jennings Clarke and was known as Foxlease (The History of Foxlease). Sir Phillip considerably enlarged the house in the Gothick style, and was probably responsible for forming the landscape park and the lake, which already appears on a map of 1791 (Milne). That same year the house and grounds were sold to Mr Isaac Pickering. After two intermediate owners, Foxlease was bought in 1828 by Henry Weyland Powell who also bought the adjacent Wilverley Park (The History of Foxlease). Henry Weyland Powell made alterations to the house and garden, probably including the laying out of a shrubbery to the south of the house, an American garden, a summer house in the woodland, and walks through to High Coxlease Inclosure which at that time was included in the Foxlease estate. By 1865 the next generation of Powells were living in Wilverley House and, following the death of his parents, Henry Buckworth Powell sold Foxlease, with 129 acres, to Mr W G Stevenson who lived there until 1900. A year later the High Coxlease Inclosure, known as Coxlease Wild Ground, was sold reducing the estate of Foxlease to approximately 100 acres. From 1912 Mrs Anne Archbold Saunderson, daughter of an American ‘Oil King’, was the owner, she demolished the greenhouse on the south of the house and built an open loggia below and spacious nursery for her children above. By 1918 Mrs Archbold Saunderson had returned to America and Foxlease was empty until, in 1922, she gave the house and 65 acres of grounds to the Girl Guides Association as a wedding present to their President, the Princess Mary (The History of Foxlease). Since then it has been used as a training and activity centre, with additional facilities being added or renewed regularly and the grounds maintained.
The house originates from a 16th century Tudor-frame house Cox Leyes (Coxlease), it was a forest keeper’s lodge. By 1770 it was known as Foxlease and owned by Sir Phillip Jennings-Clarke who enlarged the house and laid out the park and lake. The estate was bought in 1828 by Henry Weyland Powell who also bought the adjoining land of Wilverley Park, which his son and family made their residence. In 1865 Foxlease was separated from Wilverley Park. Subsequent owners made changes to the grounds, including selling off the woodland of Coxlease Wild Ground in 1900. By 1918 the house was empty and in 1922 was gifted to the Girl Guide Association, who have maintained it to date as a training and activity centre
HGT Research: March 2008