Longwood Park

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HCC Site ID: 1562 Parish: Owslebury
Designations: SDNP, SINC, SMR Area: Large
Access: Historic site Ownership: Historic site

Location and Site

Longwood Park lies on the road linking Owslebury to the A272. Its position is associated with ancient woodland on the chalk downs.

Historic Development

The earliest record is of a farmstead, Landwode (house by the long wood), 1272. In the 16th century Longwood Farm was owned by the Bishop of Winchester. At the beginning of the 18th century Longwood was the seat of Lord Carpenter, a distinguished General, who rose from the ranks to the top of his profession and peerage. It then belonged to the Ricketts family and then came into the ownership of the Carnegie, Earl of Northestk through the marriage of Mary Ricketts to William Carnegie, 7th Earl of Northesk. The house known for a time as Rosehill, the subsidiary title of the Earl of Carnegie and on the Milne plan (1791), the minor country house or farmstead is referred to as Rosehill. Alterations to the house and longer entrance drive probably took place before 1859, when White’s Directory lists Rose Hill, formerly Longwood House, ‘as being a mansion set in a park of 100 acres, the seat of the Earl of Northesk VII’. The 1st edition O.S. map shows that the ‘Bowling Green’ and the arable field called ‘North Croft’ on the 1840 Tithe map, were now laid out as a walled ornamental garden and terraces with formal axial paths, surrounded by a woodland garden with grassy glades and gravel paths winding through it, and linked to the house by lawn and shrubberies with a summerhouse and sundial. The mid 19th century walled garden was the setting for the new 1880s George Devey designed house; Devey also designed the Dower House or Rosehill Cottage, a walled kitchen garden and two other cottages outside the park.
The views open across the park, the bowling green pasture boundary was realigned and most of the original early 18th century garden associated with the dovecote was removed along with the sundial and summerhouse. The status of the original house was further subsumed by the removal of its entrance drive. There is a strong possibility that Gertrude Jekyll either designed the garden or gave advice to Elizabeth Georgina Frances, wife of the 9th Earl of Northesk. After 1909, probably when the original house was demolished, the orchard was created using the dovecote as one corner and the cottages as the opposite boundary. In the 1930s, the Duke and Duchess of York were visitors. Before the WWII, the house was passed to Lord Eldon (4th Earl of Eldon) who sold the estate to a timber merchant, Arnold Laver,. During the war the estate was requisitioned by the War Office and American forces were billeted there. The 1963 OS map shows an unfinished third house and the ruins of the Devey house. When Pevsner wrote his account of Longwood in 1967 the Devey house had been demolished. The house was never in private use again and became derelict and was demolished between 1963 and 1967. There was a Roman Catholic chapel in Longwood House and a Methodist chapel by the Dower House.

Current description

In 1993, there was still evidence of the foundations of the Devey and original houses. The woodland garden and terraces were scrub, the walls from the mid-Victoria garden, re-sited dovecote, and orchard remained, and the park was intact.


Mid Victorian landscaped park; late 19th century Geore Devey house (demolished) built on former walled garden, commanded fine views; possibly an early (1882) G Jekyll planting scheme; woodland garden and terraces; walls (LB II) of mid Victorian garden, re-sited dovecote, and orchard remain; in 1993 the park was intact. Many trees remain as part of the landscape.

Research: March 1993


Notes by Sally Hocking, Hampshire County Council 1993
HRO 44M70 E61/3
www.longwoodhantsinfo.co.uk  with substantial reference

Our address

Owslebury Historic site Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.01993354374864, -1.2286290898919106

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