Langdown House

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HCC Site ID: 1062 Parish: Hythe and Dibden
Designations: Area: ha
Access: Historic site Ownership: Multiple Private

Drawing: 1892

Location and Site

The former estate of Langdown House is now a housing estate on Langdown Road, Hythe.

Historic Development

Langdown House was built for George Tate in 1797(Murley, C & F 1990).
In 1822 it was inherited by his daughter, Mary Tate, who owned Langdown Lawn as well. She was a subscriber to Dibden School. (Murley, C & F, 1990)
The 1842 Tithe map and apportionment refers to Long Down house and shows a pleasure ground, plantation, stables, pasture, a garden and park. In 1849 the Hobart family bought the house and surrounding park. The family refurbished the house and it remained in their hands for nearly a century. Sir Joseph Hobart was a liberal MP for the New Forest. (Murley. C & F, 1990)
In 1869, the estate was conveyed to Sir Robert Henry Hobart, who married Julia Trollope and the land is described as arable, woodland and pasture with ornamental features. (9M53/8 HRO)
The 1st ed OS map, 1870 (HCC), shows the house and an area planted with evergreens and deciduous trees to the south. A print of a watercolour by Miss I Hobart in 1892 shows an elegant house in parkland. (Murley, C & F, 1990)
In the 1920s, the Hobart family vigorously opposed the building of the Totton to Fawley railway as it would be clearly visible from the house and the embankment would obstruct the view of the shoreline. Agreement was later reached for a line skirting the Hobart grounds. (Murley, C & F, 1990)
In the 1930s, the house was used (owned?) by BOAC before ending up with the Royal Naval/Admiralty. The 4th ed OS map, 1932 (HCC), shows that little has changed from the 1st ed OS map, 1870. From 1940-45 the house became the ward room of HMS Diligence, a naval base on the Shore Road at Hythe. (Murley, C & F, 1990)
By 1961, the property had been offered to the Rural District Council for community use but the offer was rejected and the house was put up for auction by the Admiralty. A Sales map in the Parish archives shows the layout for housing (124M85PX8 HRO) The Sales Notice in the same archives described it as a ‘Finely situated country house with mature grounds of 10 acres containing many fine specimen trees.’ There was an entrance lodge and stabling. 10.125 acres was offered for sale with planning approval for erection of houses, bungalows and flats. The Parish Council was outraged at the possibility of demolition but a campaign mounted against the Rural District Council’s decision to allow demolition was too late for success. It appears that only provisional Grade II listing had been given, not final listing status.
A cutting from the Southern Evening Echo of 17/11/61 reports the loss of one of the finest of Hythe’s stately homes. (93M94/58/2 HRO)
The OS map around 1980 shows that the site of the house and garden are now part of a housing estate. (HCC)

Current Description

A fairly low density housing estate with many old trees from the parkland left in lines or clumps which indicate where drives or avenues may have been.

Summary

An elegant Georgian house and parkland, demolished in the 1960s. Now a low-density housing estate with some parkland trees remaining.

Information: 2003

References

Murley, C & F, 1990 A Pictorial Past p79
Hampshire Record Office
21M65/F7/601, 602 Tithe map and apportionment 1842
9M53/8 Conveyance 1869
124M85PX8 Sales Notice and correspondence in Parish Archives
93M94/58/2 Cutting from the Southern Evening Echo 1961/62
Hampshire County Council
OS maps


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