|HCC Site ID.||1546||Parish:||Itchen Valley|
|Designations:||House LB II||Area:|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Site and Location
The house and grounds lie on the Kingsworthy to Itchen Abbas road, near and opposite to Martyr Worthy Manor. Trees line the roadside of the property.
The Tithe map, 1841, shows a modest house, garden and plantation with pasture to the north all owned by Charlotte Eyles. To the west of the house there are three tiny cottages with strip gardens which run down to the roadside. They are shown in the Tithe Apportionment as belonging to John Watson. The main house stands further back with two entrance drives, one circular to the right and one to the left which runs by the side of the strip gardens up to the back of the house. Planting, possibly a kitchen garden is shown as well as a perimeter belt of trees round to the north and east of the pasture land. The first edition OS map (1870-93) identifies the house as Martyr Worthy Cottage; the tiny cottages have disappeared although the strip gardens seem to remain and a small new building is shown at right angles. The circular drive from the main road is still there and the second driveway is now lined with trees or shrubs. The planted areas are more elaborate and more trees in the pasture area gives it a parkland appearance. To the east of the plot there is a meadow, shown as arable on the Tithe map.
In the early 20th century, the house was bought by Miss Christian who extended it considerably, built a gardener’s cottage and had the entrance drive changed to sweep past the gardener’s cottage and approach the house to the north with an entrance portico. The architects were Cancellor and Hill from Winchester. The parkland and perimeter belt of trees remained, however in the meadow to the east Miss Christian created a new walled garden in an Arts and Crafts style. The third edition 25” OS map, 1909, shows this garden and also identifies that the name of the house has changed to Martyr Worthy Place.
The Ffennell family bought the house in 1926 and made further additions to the Arts and Crafts garden. In 1978-79, the Ffennells sold the main house and the grounds were divided up so that the Arts and Craft 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 new entrance drive to the main house was created away from the gardener’s cottage across the park leaving the old entrance drive to lead only to the old gardener’s cottage, now called Martyr Worthy Minor. The present Martyr Worthy Place gardens have not been visited but while a substantial part remains, the most interesting parts now are at Martyr Worthy Minor.
Summary and significance
19th century villa gardens. Early interesting Arts and Craft garden transferred to Martyr Worthy Minor in the late 20th century. Villa gardens remain.
HGT/HCC Research – HRO – see Martyr Worthy Minor