Longmead House

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HCC Site ID: 1189 Parish: Bishopstoke
Designations: Peach House LB II Area: Early c20 41 acres.
Now built upon
Access: Historic site Ownership: Housing development,
multiple ownership

Location and Site

Developed from many plots of land in Bishopstoke in 1866, the Longmead Estate occupied high ground with extensive views. Now, almost completely developed for housing, few views are afforded.

Historic development

In 1865, Thomas Garnier, Dean of Winchester, sold his renowned arboretum and several other plots of land in Bishopstoke that he owned, to Alfred Barton who continued to acquire more land to create the Longmead Estate. In 1866, Barton had a large neo-Gothic house built to designs of G E Street: he maintained the arboretum and had a bridge built over Spring Lane to link with the rest of his property. By 1880 Kelly’s Directory described the grounds as beautifully situated on an eminence commanding extensive views. They were tastefully laid out with an orchard, kitchen garden and the attached arboretum. Barton ran into financial difficulties and let the house in 1879 to Colonel and Mrs Gubbins, selling the bulk of the estate to Mr H B Hamilton in 1892. The Gubbins continued to live there as tenants. Hamilton appeared to have bought the estate to sell off plots of land. (HRO 2M58/1). Development plans for north of the estate at Stoke Park Road were slow to be implemented and some of the land became brickworks for several years. In 1899, Hamilton sold the house and grounds of 41 acres, to Mr H K Grierson who in 1904 sold again to the now widowed Mrs Gubbins who stayed there until her death in 1927. (HRO 7M/89). Thus any further development for housing was delayed for over 20 years.  Mrs Gubbins left the estate to her grandson, Eric Dudley Cosby who attempted to sell off the 41 acres of the house and grounds in Lots (HRO M75W/A2/1 and 2M95W/A2/1)) but he was not successful. In 1930, the house and grounds were sold to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England and from 1930-35, Cosby sold off the remaining land in small plots (HRO 7M89). By 1935 all almost all the land had been sold off for housing and the house was demolished in 1939 and the bridge over Spring Lane to the arboretum was removed in 1930.
In 1928 one plot (Lot 14, 15 and 24 from the 1928 Sale) had been sold as a single plot and bought by Benjamin Haslam. It comprised many fruit trees and a long length of glasshouses. However, there was only a small building on the site, possibly a gardener’s bothy. (OS map 3rd ed 25”, 1909). Haslam kept the single plot with the length of glasshouse and built a small bungalow, close to the adjoining wall with the arboretum site; the bungalow was renamed St Martins Close by which it is still known. The plot containing the Garnier arboretum was also sold separately.

Current description

Most of Alfred Barton’s Longmead estate has been developed for housing – north of Stoke Park Road, Spring Lane and some south of Church Road.
The glasshouse in St Martin’s Close was identified in 2011 as a peach house and listed Gr II, possibly one of only a few remaining in the country. Some of the surrounding walls are the originals form Barton’s time but the ones abutting the glasshouse are in poor condition. Access to the plot is difficult as it is surrounded by other properties but its development is under discussion (2011). Whatever the outcome, due consideration will be given to the siting of any new buildings with regard to the peach house, for which it is expected there will be a partial restoration.
The plot which had been Garnier’s arboretum had a bunglaow built in the NW corner of the plot and some of the specimen trees appear to remain. However, like St Martins Close the plot is likely to be developed at some point and it is hoped that the history of the site will be duly considered. (see also Bishopstoke Rectory for further information on Dean Thomas Garnier’s garden).

Summary

Created with a large neo-Gothic house and extensive grounds in 1866 by Alfred Barton. Almost all developed for housing in Bishopsoke. Some of Dean Garnier’s renowned arboretum and a 2011 Gr II listed peach house remain on two sites.

Partial HGT research: January 2012


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