|HCC Site ID:||1360||Parish:||Headley|
|Designations:||SINC, SSSI||Area:|| c166 ha (411 acres) in 19th century;
22.3 ha (55 acres) in 2010
|Access:||Access to hotel||Ownership:||Private/Multiple ownership|
Location and site
Headley Park is situated in the northeast corner of Hampshire near to the county boundary with Surrey. It lies in the north part of Headley parish, 5 km. (3 miles) from Bordon and its railway station. It is close to the scenically attractive area of the Hindhead hills and the Devil’s Punch Bowl. It was once a part of Woolmer Forest and is still wooded. The soil is sand on a clay or loamy outcrop. The estate has good pasture land as the River Wey provides the eastern boundary of the park.
Headley Park was originally part of Woolmer Forest but by Tudor times had become an entity in its own right (VCH vol.3, p52) . However, it was not a manor nor did it have a manor house. Heath House served for domestic purposes (Hantsphere). The first known family to own the estate, the Fauntleroys, are remembered for planting the avenue of Scots pines in the reign of James 1 (johnowensmith). In the 18th century, the second family, the Huggins, owned the estate for over one hundred years. The building of a temple to Ariosto in the park in the mid-eighteenth century was an indication of their cultural interests ( www.jrank.org). In the nineteenth century Headley Park became simply an agricultural estate farmed by William Langrish although its size was 411 acres (c166 ha)a nd the park lacked the typical Victorian pleasure grounds and kitchen garden (Tithe map 1846). This changed in 1871 when the estate was bought in turn by two eminent lawyers, firstly by William Keating who began to build a Victorian Gothic house (johnowensmith) and then R.S.Wright who enlarged the house and replanted the parkland around it (TOP 156/3/2). The estate remained line this under their successors, the McAndrew family (Hantsphere). However in 1947 the estate was sold and became successively a preparatory school, a club for Lithuanians and finally a hotel (Hantsphere).
Headley Park has been converted into a hotel with space nearby for car parking. A border runs the length of the front of the hotel with some palm trees and a rockery. On the lawn facing the lake tables and seats have been set out. The grass slope to the lake is still terraced with two flights of steps for easy access. The estate has shrunk to 22.3 hectares (55 acres). The parkland remains but the land south of the track to Park Mill has been sold. Likewise the area south of the hotel and close to the road (Picketts Hill) is now separate with housing built there. Only some brick ruins remain as a reminder of Park Mill. The grounds are still well wooded and the River Wey still provides the eastern boundary.
Noted for 300 year old Scots pines and a mid-18th century Temple of Ariosto built by owner William Huggins. Early 19th century decline to a farm, later status regained with a new house and restored parkland. Now a hotel in a smaller park.
HGT Research: September 2010
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
TOP156/3/2 Mr Justice Wright at home at Headley Park
22M59/PD1&2 Tithe map and apportionment 1846
W. Page, Victoria County History of Hampshire1908 Vol 3 p.52 .
Hantsphere www.sopse.org.uk Headley’s Past in Pictures
John Owen Smith www.johnowensmith.co.uk/headley
Temple of Ariosto www.jrank.org