|HCC Site ID:||1014||Parish:||Boldre|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||unknown|
Location and site
The house and garden are situated on a knoll between the Lymington River and the higher ground of Boldre Church. House and garden are bounded by roads to the north and east, the river Lymington to the west, and sewage works to the south. The house extends its length from east to west on a stretch of only slightly sloping land. To the east the ground rises gently; to the west if falls rapidly; from north to south there is little change of gradient. The approach from the road is level, and with its hedges and sward it forms an enticing approach to the hooded front door, (Country Life article 1926).
A house was on the site in the mid 14th century. It reverted to the Crown at the dissolution and was part of the dowry of Anne of Cleeves, but reverted to the Crown after the divorce. Edward Morant purchased it around 1773 when it had fallen into disrepair, and material was re-used to rebuild Heywood Mill. In the late 19th century maps show that there was a kitchen garden and formal tree planting. It was about this time that the Alexander’s purchased the property. In 1903 they employed Sir Reginald Blomfield to undertake the work on the house, and to design the gazebo in the garden. The owners designed the garden at the same time as the alterations were being carried out on the house. Their design was very much in line with Sir Reginald’s ideas on formality, ‘using architectural shape, structure and material with plants as decorative adjuncts’ (Oxford Companion to Gardening). Some land was sold in 1957, the Manor and pleasure gardens were for sale in 1980.
In 1980 the pleasure grounds included swimming pool, hard tennis court, and gazebo, as well as the ‘delightful gardens and grounds’. The garden was divided into a series of separate gardens, by ‘walls’ of well kept topiary of yew. The fountain garden was adjacent to the approach drive with the gazebo in the northern corner. The great lawn was situated on the southerly side of the house with oaks beyond. The tiled garden had a stone sundial in the centre, with a yew arch leading to the long walk. From the long walk the small orchard was in a northerly direction. Some steps led from the long walk to the long bed of the lower garden, and where the grass ended, a gravel walk level with the low ground of the little valley led to the more natural ‘watery and wood-fringed meadow’ (Country Life 1926). The sale notice in 1980 also included a kitchen garden.
Early 20th century formal gardens attached to a New Forest residence, with design of gazebo, and re-design of house by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1903.
HGT Research: April 1998