|HCC Site ID:||1216||Parish:||Dummer and Kempshott|
|Access:||No Public Access except golf course||Ownership:||Golf Course Basingstoke Club|
Extensive cropmarks, enclosures and other archaeological features suggests considerable early presence in this locality. The line of the Roman road cuts the estate to the north west quadrant.
The manor of KEMPSHOTT (Campessete, xi cent.; Campeshet, Kempeschete, xiii cent.; Kembeshete, xiv cent.; Kempshote, xv cent.), which had belonged to Aldret in the reign of Edward the Confessor, formed part of the possessions of Hugh de Port in 1086, being held of him by Walter. There is no reference to emparkment at this time. Saxon’s map of 1575 records the presence of the hamlet and from 1600 Kempshott was the residence of the Pincke family. In 1770 the estate was sold to Phillip Denhay of Farleigh Wallop, who pulled down the old manor house and built a large brick mansion on the site. In 1787 it was sold to James Morley, and then in 1789 to J.C. Crook of Stratton. (indicated on Milne’s map)
Milne and Tunnicliffe’s maps of 1791 indicate that the park is defined by a pale, possibly as part of Denhay’s improvements. Blocks of woodland equating with Kempshott Copse, Park Copse and Shrub Copse are indicated, and Low Belt lying north of Old Beggarwood Lane is recorded on the 1810 OS OS 1” map (the subject of a modern TPO) The Turnpike road with its toll house, crossed the park to the south of the Roman Road – recorded on the 1810 OS 1st survey.
In 1789, the Mansion was leased to George, Prince of Wales as a hunting lodge and private retreat for himself and Mrs Fitz Herbert. Six years later he brought his new wife Catherine of Brunswick to honeymoon at Kempshott, and Henry Holland (partner and son-in-law of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown) was commissioned to prepare plans to alter the house. The Prince terminated his lease in that same year so no Holland renovations were carried out.
In 1830, the estate was purchased by Mr Edward Walter Blunt who made further alterations to the mansion ‘of an Italian character’. In 1894 the estate was inherited by Sir Richard Nelson Rycroft and leased to Mr. Henry Gourlay, J.P.
In 1928, the estate was sold to Basingstoke Golf club, and until 1965, Kempshott House stood on a slight eminence in the midst of a well wooded park of 150 acres. It was then demolished as part of the M3 road construction works, which traversed the parkland leaving 110 acres within the golf course, and separating the park from its coach house and woodlands. The Coach House is retained to the south of the M3 motorway as commercial and residential accomodation.
The extent of Kempshott Park has been significantly reduced as a consequence of the major road construction works since the 1960s and the consequent expansion of Basingstoke urban area. However, its present landuse as a ‘Parkland’ golf course should ensure continued management of the parkland since the unique selling point of the club publicity is that it was officially opened on in 1928 by the legendary six time Open champion, Harry Vardon and the famous course designer James Braid.
‘the course is set in 110 acres of Deer Park and features many mature native British trees, inspiring the ‘James Braid’ parkland design, with rolling, undulating tree lined fairways, excellent bunkering and subtly contoured greens. In the summer months, the greens are regarded as some of the finest in Hampshire.’
From the club house it can be seen that the greens and fairways are designed to take advantage of the parkland landscape with its rolling topography and mature trees. Additional planting (mainly coniferous trees and evergreen shrubs) has been carried out within the park, reinforcing the greens and fairways, with different, modern objectives, but maintaining in some part, the spirit of the original vision for the park. The estate is bounded by embankments and belts of mixed woodland, screening the park from the surrounding roads.
Landscape Planning Status :
TPO etc Yes –Lower Belt forming the northern boundary of the park and around The Cedars at the southern end of the park
Ancient Woodland Inventory Map 33: Kempshott Copse now lies outside the park boundary. Park Copse is a caravan park and identified as cut over ancient woodland.
The parish of Dummer & Kempshott lies to the south west of Basingstoke, bounded along its western edge by the Basingstoke to Winchester road. The integrity of Kempshott Park has been changed radically by the construction of the M3 motorway to the south and more recently by the extension of Basingstoke urban area into the parkland beyond Beggarwood Lane. Kempshott Park is now considerably reduced in extent, although the fragments of woodland in Lower and Beggarwood belts have been integrated into the new housing development, and are protected by TPOs and the remaining parkland is maintained as a golf course.
The park retains some elements of an 18th century landscape – open parkland, mature trees, fragments of the original pale boundary remain (to the south of the motorway) from the main phase of development laid out between 1750 and 1820.
Kempshott was intimately connected with George Prince of Wales between 1789 and 1795 and with Henry Holland the eminent Georgian architect and designer.
More recently the golf course was designed by James Braid – an important early 20th century golf course designer.
Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: August 2009