Marchwood Priory Hospital & Park

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HCC Site ID. 1055 Parish: Marchwood
Designations:  House LB II* Area: n/k
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Priory Hospitals Group

Location and site

Marchwood Park is situated on the western side of the A326 to Fawley, between Marchwood village and Dibden. The house stands on high ground which once had views to Southampton Water, now looks over various copses. The soil is clay and sandy with subsoil of sand.

Historic  Development

Evidence in the cellars shows that there was probably a yeoman’s farmhouse on the site from the 16th/17th centuries, succeeded by a Georgian house noted on the  enclosure map of 1816 (Q23/2/44/1 HRO) as owned by  Sir John Keene (Q23/2/44/2 ). In 1820, John Hambrough of Marchwood Lodge is referred to in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1820. (Googlebooks).

The Greenwood map (1826) shows Marchwood Lodge within parkland (Old Hampshire Mapped on-line). Hambrough died in 1831, aged 77 (The Morning Post, on-line). A Sales notice 1833 notes ‘A valuable freehold/copyhold … mansion house, formerly the residence of Sir John Keane (note the spelling), bart, and the late John Hambrough esq, deceased.  Stables and coach housing, delightful pleasure grounds, parterres of flowers, luxuriant thriving evergreens, walled kitchen garden, carriage drive and lodge and about 490 acres of meadow, pasture arable, and woodland  with cottages etc and forest rights are noted. There is, however, no indication whether the park was developed by Keene  or Hambrough. The house and 500 acres of land was sold in 1834 by Catherine, Hambrough’s widow to Horatio Francis Kingswood Holloway, then enlarged to 708 acres over the next four decades (Strand, 1997).

The Eling tithe map and Award of 1842 notes a mansion named Kitt’s House,and office (4411), part of park (4447) orchard (4440) and farm house and offices (4439) (HRO 4M69/PD3&4), owner Horatio Holloway. Walled gardens are shown but not named. The house is noted as Marchwood Lodge in the The Hants Advertiser, 1844,  (viewed on-line). The OS 1st ed. 25” map (1868-87) shows a lake, island and boathouse and numerous copses on the perimeters of the park. There are two lodges, North and South, terraces and two summer houses, three walled gardens with glasshouses, an orchard and farm complex adjacent.

H.F.K. Holloway died in 1870 (Hampshire Advertiser on-line) and Horatio Edward Holloway, inherited but in 1877 he, too, died aged 30 (Obituary Hampshire Advertiser) and his younger brother, Francis, inherited. Francis was forced by ill-health to leave the country and died in Naples in 1883. Two surviving sisters became the owners. Now called Marchwood Park, the Estate was put up for auction in 1884 for £35,000 (19th century Newspapers on-line). Sale particulars 1885(HRO 33 M70/11), show that most of the details from the 1833 sale survive, plus the lake and small reservoir, terraces leading to an Italian garden, grass rides and walks and a heavily wooded park, and Home Farm. The highest bid was £26,000 and the sale withdrawn (London Gossip, on-line), finally being sold to Charles Bartholomew  in May 1886 for £21,000 (19th century newspapers on-line). Several cottages were sold off at this time (Strand, 1997). It would seem likely that Bartholomew had the ice-house built to the NW of the house, which is shown on the 2nd ed OS map (1897), published two years after his death. The house was advertised for auction, (Hampshire Telegraph on-line) and again, the reserve was not reached. Finally, a reduced Marchwood Park was bought by Mr Ross Porter who died in 1905. His widow Blanche Julia, continued to live there until 1933 when according to Dyer, she sold the estate, now comprising 187 acres (auction particulars, Dyer 2003 p.6). Still included were the stabling and garages, pleasure and kitchen gardens, two entrance lodges, gardener’s cottage, farm house and outbuildings, bailiff’s or agent’s house a cottage, and the ornamental lake. No further evidence confirmed who bought the house. It was again advertised in 1938 as a fine Georgian house, for renovation with park and woodland, 187 acres, farm and cottages and bought by Mr Hubert Scott-Paine, to house the British Power Boat Company, for £2500. Conversion costs for a residential training centre, with bedrooms and workshop increased the cost to £8000. Components for Admiralty boats continued to be built until 1943.  It is likely that from 1938 onwards, the grounds would have started to deteriorate.

From 1943-49 the site was handed over to the Air Ministry for airmen recovering from surgery following burns with landgirls and munitions workers also housed thereThe Estate was sold by Scott-Paine in 1949 to a Mr Mitchell, who left the house empty for three years and  reputedly sold off much of the land as well as urns and statues (Strand, 1997). The gardens suffered further deterioration. From 1952-1970 the preparatory part of Embley Park School rented the house. Later the 1985 Sales details note that the School had built on to the servants quarters and covered the yard, with six bedrooms placed on a bridge to the main house. After 1970, the house again remained empty with the grounds neglected (Dyer 2003 p.11).

Around 1965, the Marchwood bypass  cut through park west of the old Hythe Road, leaving South Lodge, since rebuilt, cut off from the park. Sited nearer the old road, North Lodge was probably also rebuilt at the entrance to the drive. With only 10 acres of land, the park was bought in 1970 by Mr and Mrs Peach, who spent several years renovating it. Holidays and pony trekking were advertised in the Times throughout 1981, and in 1983 and 1984, the house was advertised as Kinloss Dyslexia School, Boarding and Day school possibly still by Mr and Mrs Peach (Times on-line).  However by 1985, the house was up for sale again. Though historically incorrect, the Sales details describe the estate  as being 10 acres and the house having 50 rooms with a carriage drive through rhododendrons and native 200 year old cedar trees; woodland with beech, oak and lime, a domed ice-house and terrace with steps down to what had been Italian gardens. There was also a cottage with a shared access drive which eventually was sold off separately, together with roughly a third of the walled garden. The remaining part of the walled gardens and a swimming pool that had been installed in part of the old orchard during the time of the school occupation were in the main sale (HRO 32M82/10). Photographs taken in 1986 shows how derelict the house had become and one assumes the grounds equally neglected. The estate was bought by the Priory Hospitals Group in 1987 with now only 5 acres. The lake and cottage with part of the walled garden were sold off separately. Photographs show that the house and remaining grounds were seriously degraded. The Priory Hospitals Group restored the house to suit their needs, added  bedrooms  and started restoration of the remnants of the gardens (Dyer 2003). In 1987 many large trees, especially some of the cedars, were lost in the gale which struck southern England, and have since been replaced.

Current Description

March 2016

March 2016

Numerous ‘arboretum-style’ trees around the house, including many types of cedar, redwood and oaks some of which possibly planted by Keene or Hambrough are still extant or replaced. There is still one particularly splendid cedar tree near the house. The outline of the 19th century terraces with steps to the south-east of the house remains as well as an arched  balustrade and a circular pond with a 3-tier shell fountain and the brick ice-house. Whilst there is little left of the old Marchwood Park estate, the prominence of the site continues to afford striking views over the countryside, and many of the coppices which made it so distinctive, remain intact though no longer part of the original estate. N Lodge, the lake and small reservoir also remain. The gardener’s cottage area had new owners in 2015, who are keen to restore the part of the walled garden which formed part of the sale and are receiving advice from Hampshire Gardens Trust. The wall separating their part from the middle part of the old walled garden site collapsed in 1997 and was rebuilt, unfortunately with modern bricks and the old bricks sold off. The remaining old walls are in need of restoration. The footings of interesting remains of the glasshouses or sheds which are shown on the old OS maps are being revealed. According to Strand the ice-house, which has a seven foot passageway, is still in the grounds and is hidden in shrubbery. The old orchard area and the two other parts of the walled garden – both still in the ownership of the Priory – are in a poor and very overgrown state.


Strategically sited in woodland with long views out, gardens, lake and parkland on the Fawley Road were developed in the early 19th century. A  gradual decline in size and maintenance with walled gardens, some specimen trees and the lake surviving: now a Priory Hospital.


The significance of the site  lies in the prominence of the elevated setting and the survival of walled gardens and lake, which lie not far from the 20th century developments of Fawley Power Station and Fawley Refinery.
HGT Research: July 2016


Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
Enclosure map and Award, 1816, HRO Q23/3/1& 2
Tithe map and apportionment of Eling parish, 1842, HRO 4M69/PD/3 & 4
Maps of estate and garden included in sale particulars, 1885, HRO 33M70/11
Aerial photograph of the site, 1947, 134M87/143
Sales Details, 1985, 32MM70/11
Kelly’s Directory 1899
1st ed. 1868-87:  25” & 6” 1890-92
2nd ed. 1897: 25”
3rd ed. 1909: 25” & 6” 1909-11
4th ed. 1933: 25”
Greenwood map, 1826 accessed via Old Hampshire mapped on-line, March 2016
Books and magazines
Gentleman’s Magazine, 1820, (Googlebooks, University of Michigan)
Dyer, Charles The History of Marchwood Park, 2003 (16-page A4 typescript pamphlet, created for Marchwood Priory)
Strand, Sylvia The Story of Marchwood Park, Parts 1 and 2 (1997)
Electronic Sources
British Newspapers on-line and Times-on-line accessed February/March 2016
Hants Advertiser – Death of Holloway snr. 20/10/1870   Death of Edward Holloway 17/03/1877   Death of Francis Holloway 20/06/1884
Morning Post – Death of John Hambrough 08/05/1831   Sales Details, 1833, 06/05/1833
London Gossip, 07/08/1886
Hampshire Telegraph and Pall Mall Gazette – Sale withdrawn, 21/09/1895
Times-on-line –  Sales Details,  20/03/1938, Advertisements 1981 and 1983-84

Our address

Marchwood No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
50.8811041006153, -1.445566892361967

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