|HCC Site ID:||1624||Parish:||Fareham|
|Designations:||CA, Garden walls LB II, SSSI, TPOs||Area:|
|Access:|| No Public Access
except recreation ground
|Ownership:|| Private dwellings;
Fareham Borough Council Recreation Ground
Location and Site
Hook Park is to the south of Warsash village and nine miles from Southampton on the west of the River Hamble. Its southern boundary is on the Solent with lovely clear views across the water. The north of the estate is wooded parkland and to the west access is by a bridge over the Hook River which is now very silted.
Once the site of an ancient fishing village, the land was purchased by William Hornby when he retired from the East India Company in the 1780s’ and built a house said to have been modelled on his home in India whilst Governor of Bombay. It was completed in 1790 (H with W LHS). It is believed that William was responsible for building the sea wall on Hook River that is a tributary of the Hamble River, forming Hook Lake. William Hornby died in 1803 and his son John inherited the estate (TF online). By 1810 there was a formal line of trees to the south of the house and it appears the river had been diverted to create a canal or stream along the southern grounds. There was one drive access and the property had a large walled garden north of the house (OS map: AHBR 26568). By 1826, the property was called The Hook. Greenwood’s map shows a tree lined path from Hook Grange with a carriage drive running parallel. The grounds, to the south were wooded whilst to the north was more open land with a belt of trees along the river to the west.
In 1868, Hook House had glass houses ,a large walled garden, and a second drive with a Lodge house from the north. There was an abundance of mixed tree planting with clumps of trees near the house and open areas of land and paths meandering through the grounds (OS map; HT on-line). In 1869, Arthur Hornby of Cold East inherited and moved to Hook Park (HC 1870). During his residency, work was carried out on the estate, including building of a new lodge and entrance drive, school, church and farm buildings. Although the property stayed in the Hornby family, they appear to have spent more time in their London home and Hook Park was let. When the last tenant, Mrs. Doudnay, left in 1903, the house was in a poor state of repair and the then owner, S.W.Hornby Hood, began renovations. A fire, probably accidently caused by workmen, destroyed the house completely (VCH on-line: WMM files). The walled garden remained undamaged the stable block and glass houses were still shown on the 1909 OS map. The family began selling off parcels of land and Sir Chilcott bought the bulk of the property, building himself a new house to the south of site called The Salterns (WMM). The Salterns and Hook Park were requisitioned during the war when the estate was advertised for sale.
A visit in January 2011 gave a completely different view of the old estate that is now a conservation area. Nothing remains of the house apart from the old stable block, listed Grade II, which is converted into several houses, each with a portion of the walled garden that stand almost intact. The walls are grade II listed. The old carriage drive is a public road with very large houses along its northern boundary all with wonderful open views across the Solent. Several of these houses have specimen trees in their grounds and there are many tree preservation orders in the area. The land, to the north of the site, that includes Hook Lake, still retains a feel of parkland with clumps of trees and open spaces and is a site of special scientific (SSSI) interest. The public path, noted on earlier maps to the east of the dwellings from the main house to Hook Grange, is now the dividing line between the housing development and the recreation ground to the east that was once part of the grounds of Hook House.
Hook Park is a late 18th century country estate with parkland that remained until the mid 20th century although the main house burnt down earlier in that century. In 2011, it is included in the conservation area. The stables and walled garden are part of a small housing development, while to the north of the housing there is open parkland, a site of special scientific, and to the east, there is a recreation ground. Many specimen trees remain.
HGT Research: March 2011
On-line – see below
1810 OS map 1595 Norden map 1826 Greenwood map
1909 OS map Hampshire County Council
WMM – Westbury Manor Museum (Local Fareham Museum)
AHBR Monument ID 26568
H with W LHS – Hook with Warsash Local History Society
HC – Hampshire Chronicle 1870
HT – Hampshire Treasures
Old Hampshire maps: http://www.geog.port.ac.uk/webmap/hantsmap/hantsmap/hantsmap.htm
TF – Titchfield Families
VCH – Victoria County History of Hampshire online (British History)