|HCC Site ID:||1983||Parish:||Itchen Valley|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private plant nursery|
Location and Site
Martyr Worthy Minor lies adjacent to Martyr Worthy Place along the Worthys’ road from Winchester, on the opposite corner to Martyr Worthy Manor. Martyr Worthy hamlet is about three and half miles north east of Winchester on rising land above the River Itchen.
The Ffennell family bought Martyr Worthy Plac in 1926 and made further additions to the existng Arts and Crafts garden. They then sold the main house in 1978-79. HOwever, the grounds were divided up so that the Arts and Crafts garden, the small parkland area to the north and the gardener’s cottage were retained by a Trust set up by the Ffennell family. A hew entrance drve to the main house was created, away from the gardener’s cottage across the park, leaving the old entrance drive to lead directly to the gardener’s cotage acress, now called Martyr Worthy Minor.
In 1986, restoration work was carried out to the Arts and Crafts garden and further work was completed in 1994. Ther are no records of the original design of this garden but it appears that much of it remains in its original form including the yew hedges, brick walls, steps, a raised terrace with a brick piered pergola and summerhouse similar to the entrance to the main house.There are wrought iron gates and a raised semi-circular brick terrace ‘theatre’. An additionaal walled gardencontaining a swimming pool and arched brick ‘folly’ or seat was constructed in the 1930s. Closer to the gardener’s cottage there is a listed clock house built in 1912.
Part of the gardens are run as a nursery supplying agapanthus commercially. The Arts and Crafts garden is well maintained, following its restoration.
It has been suggested that the features of the Arts and Crafts garden here bear some similarity to those created in the early 20th century formerly in the gardens of Otterbourne House andsold off in the 1940s when two bungalows were built within them. Both Otterbourne House and Martyr Worthy Place were owned by members of the Christian family. It is not known who designed either garden, though the summerhouse at Martyr Worthy is stylistically similar to parts of the main house and therefore, this and other structures could be attributed to the architects of the main house, Cancellor and Hill. The Arts and Crafts features of Otterbourne House are still to be seen in the gardens of the two bunglaows.
Summary and significance
Once part of the grounds of Martyr Worthy Place, a restored and intact 20th C Arts and Crafts walled garden with pergola and summer houses as well as small pleasure grounds and gardener’s cottage is now in separate ownership and renamed Martyr Worthy Minor. There is a similarity to the walled gardens, formerly part of Otterbourne House.
HGT research from HCC files July 2003/ 2020
HRO 39M73/BP376 1905/ 486 1907/ 589 1909/ 679 1591/ 747 1912