|HCC Site ID.||1438||Parish:||Kimpton|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Kimpton Lodge is situated in the village of Kimpton, 6.5 miles west of Andover, approximately 1 mile north of the A303 and immediately north of the Thruxton Motorsport Centre. The soil is very light and the subsoil is chalk. The Lodge is accessed from Snoddington Road to the south via a private road shared with a modern house built to the west of the drive.
Kimpton Lodge was a large brick-gabled house, built about 1835 by George Soley Foyle, whose family had been Lords of the Manor of Kimpton since 1620. After his death in autumn 1839 the Lodge was lived in by his only child, Mary Ann and her husband, the Reverend Charles Foyle Randolph, vicar of Kimpton. The Lodge appears on the 1839 tithe map and apportionments as having lawns, plantations and a garden to the south of the church.
Edwin Hillier, the founder of the famous Hillier nursery and seeds business, began his garden training in the 3/4 acre kitchen garden at Kimpton Lodge where his father was the butler. Although there is no record of his specific role, Edwin probably began as a ‘crock lad’ or ‘pot boy’.
The Reverend Foyle lived in the Lodge with his family until his death in 1871 and subsequently by his son, Charles Foyle Randolph and family also lived there until Charles’s death in 1912. Charles’s son, Major Charles Foyle Randolph, inherited Kimpton but did not live there and in 1926, Colonel Stuart Hay and his wife, Vera, moved into the Lodge and subsequently bought it. They lived there until about 1946, during which time Colonel Hay became a very keen gardener. The Lodge was again put up for sale around 1947 and inexplicably Major Charles Foyle Randolph’s son, Humphrey Collingwood Foyle Randolph, repurchased it from Colonel Hay. Kimpton Lodge, two smaller houses and 162 acres was put on the market in 1950 when Humphrey moved abroad to live.
The sales catalogue gives a detailed description of the ‘delightful’ gardens and says that the ‘… grounds have been carefully laid out and there are very beautifully matured trees, fruit and flowering trees and shrubs. A fine double beech hedge affording an attractive walk through double iron gates to the garden. There is a mature orchard with a fine mulberry tree, also a young orchard and a yew walk to the village Church, excellent flower beds and herbaceous borders, lawns. There is a partly walled paddock and a fine walled garden’.
According to local residents a Mrs Miller is said to have purchased the Lodge around 1950 but was not thought to have lived there herself. Bridget and Godfrey Beese then bought the Lodge around 1955 and lived in the ‘Flat’, with other people listed as living at the Lodge – possibly tenants.
In 1966 Mr and Mrs Beese built and moved into a large property, Kimpton House, just to the west of the Lodge. It is highly likely that the major part of the Lodge was demolished around this time. There were two further owners and in 1992 the Lodge was sold again to its current owners. The sales photo in Country Life 1992 confirms that most of the house had been demolished. The current owners were keen vegetable growers in the 1990s and shows were held in the grounds.
The house and garden are much smaller than they were in 1835. The yew tree-lined walk remains and the reduced gardens are now mainly lawns, a pond and a tennis court. The park land shown on the Tithe map of 1839 still exists but many trees were lost in various gales between 1926 and 1947. It is now in the ownership of Kimpton Manor. The grassed area, spinney and path as shown on the OS maps of 1873 onward belong to the owner of Kimpton House, who also own a plot of land to the west of the drive where the demolished section of the original Kimpton Lodge once stood. The Coach House is a separate property, and a modern house has been built in the old walled garden.
The Lodge built in 1835 (possibly designed by Charles Parker) for George Soley Foyle has been reduced to the old servants quarters, with much else including the walled kitchen garden, the coach house and parkland sold off. The yew tree-line walk from the Lodge to the Church remains but is slightly overgrown.
The significance of Kimpton Lodge lies in its past as a large house and accompanying estate dominating a small village for approximately a hundred years, together with its association with Edwin Hillier, the creator of the Hillier family nursery business and ultimately the Hillier Arboretum in Ampfield, Hampshire.
HGT Research: September 2017
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
21M65 F7/132/1& 2 Kimpton Tithe map, 1839 & apportionment
46M84/F47/3 Auction Catalogue 1912
46M84/F47/8 Sales details 1950
93M92/B143 Auction Catalogue 1924
H/CL9/4/109 (1924), 111 (1925), 113 (1926), 129 (1947), 137(1955), 138(1956), 148(1966) Electoral Registers
H/CH/CS5/1/12/10 (1985) & /17 (1993) Electoral Registers
942.227 Kelly Directories, 1912, 1923.
Page: William, Vol 4 London 1911, A History of the County of Hampshire http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hants/vol4/pp372-376 ‘Parishes: Kimpton’ [accessed 18th August 2017]
Colvin, H A, 1997 Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, Yale University Press
Country Life magazine, 28 May 1992
Hillier, J, 2014, Hillier, the Plants the People, the Passion Hillier Nurseries Ltd p. 21