Lee House

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HCC Site ID: 1932 Parish: Romsey Extra
Designations: Area: c1 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Multiple Private

Location and site

The Broadlands estate covers a large area in and around Romsey that has both good agricultural land and woodland. The park and Broadlands mansion are on the east side of the River Test and the southern edge of the town. Lee House, first named Broadlands Farm, and Lee Lodge are sited within the park, close to its southern boundary (OS Color Raster map 2010).

Historic development

In 1736 The 1st Viscount Palmerston bought the Broadlands estate in the manor of Romsey Infra, from Humphrey Sydenham. When the 3rd Viscount Palmerston inherited in 1802, there were still communal open fields quite near to the house, and the Southampton main road passed close by. Taking advantage of the Inclosure Acts of Romsey, Palmerston soon began the process of enlarging and rationalising the holdings of the estate (Brent 2009, 73). Also, in a complicated deal, Lord Palmerston made land on the east available to the developing London & South Western Railway Company, and arranged for the main Southampton road to be rebuilt half a mile east of its traditional route which, with a wall alongside it, made the park and house more isolated from the town (Berrow 1984, 54).
When the tithe map was drawn in 1845 the main buildings in Broadlands Park were the mansion and Broadlands Farm; there was no building shown on the southern boundary of the park (HRO Tithe map). In 1853 Lee Park which adjoined the southern boundary of Broadlands came up for sale, it included the mansion and grounds.  It was bought by Palmerston and was advertised for renting. No tenant was found and, two years later, the house was demolished and the land taken in to the Broadlands estate (BR 114/14; BR115/1/7).
By 1866 there is a small building on the southern boundary of Broadlands Park, named Broadlands Farm. The former Broadlands Farm, which included a saw mill, had been re-named Broadlands Cottage. The new house, designed in 1860, was built for Lord Palmerston’s Steward, William Kendle (BR map 78 a&b), it was sited within an enclosed area that included a kitchen garden crossed by paths dividing it into four rectangles, with a shelter belt of trees to the north; a short approach drive to the main entrance of the farm was bounded by conifers and deciduous trees to the west (OS 1st ed map). On the OS 2nd ed. of 1896, the enclosed area included was a much bigger area of land and a lodge had been built just north of the house. This same building was now named Lee House, and the buildings further north in the park, that in 1866 had been named Broadlands Cottage, had now reverted to being called Broadlands Farm.
Throughout the 20th century there was little change in the layout of Lee House, other than small alterations to the outbuildings. The house was used during 1944 as a planning centre for the D-Day preparations (Berrow 1984, 70).

Current description

At the time of a site visit in 2010 the house was in multiple occupancy, and there was no evidence of a cultivated kitchen garden, although some remains of walls were visible. The garden was an open lawn bordered by shrubs and trees.
It is surprising to see Lee House, that had first been named a Farm, had been built in a classical style rather than that of a Victorian farmhouse. Lee Lodge is more typical of its time, the late nineteenth century The area that would have been a kitchen garden has sections of the walls remaining, but there is little evidence of any designed garden. It is in multiple occupancies.


Situated within Broadlands Park, a mid-to late 19th century classical style farmhouse, with kitchen garden and short approach drive bounded by trees. By the end of the century it was known as Lee House, and the kitchen garden extended eastwards. Early 21st century the house has multiple occupancies, a retaining wall of the kitchen garden remains within the larger enclosed garden.

HGT Research: September 2010


Hampshire Record Office
Tithe map of Romsey 21M65/F7/197/2
Ordnance Survey
1866 1st ed. 1:1500 1:5000
1896 2nd ed. 1:1500 & 1:5000
2010 OS Color Raster 1:9500
VCH – Victoria County History
Berrow, P., The Story of Romsey   Local Heritage 1984
Brent, J., Working the Land in Romsey LTVAS publication 2009
Cenus 1871 & 1881
Broadlands Archives BR114 and BR115 BR Map 78 a&b

Our address

Romsey Extra No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
50.97150461888287, -1.4900314807891846

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