Marwell House (Marwell Lodge)

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HCC Site ID: 1908 Parish: Owslebury
Designations: SDNP, House LB II Area: 15.259 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Location and Site

Marwell House is situated between the junction of Whaddon Lane and Lower Baybridge Lane in the parish of Owslebury, a village about a mile to the north, and about four miles from Bishops Waltham to the south. It lies on chalk and clay c.80m above sea level near the western boundary of the South Downs National Park. The landscape is designated Downland mosaic in the South Downs Integrated Landscape Character Assessment.

Historic Development

Originally built in the eighteenth century, Marwell House has been modified only slightly since then, largely by the addition of an eastern extension in 1938 and latterly by some remodelling in 2006. It had a series of tenants until its purchase in 1934 by Arthur Jeffress and subsequently by Viscountess Kelburn who was resident there as owner from the early 1960s to 2004. While the Standishes were at Marwell Hall in the nineteenth century it was also used as the Dower House to the Hall.
The garden layout has also shown little fundamental change since it first appears on the OS map of 1810. It remains largely lawn to the south with flower beds, kitchen gardens and stables to the west, and a path to the woodland to the east. The northern approach shows formal box or yew hedging present before the Cecil Pinsent design of 1938. His design added further enclosed lawns to the eastern extension and a more formal avenue leading to the eastern woodland.

Current Description

Marwell House remains outwardly substantially as it was when built, with the addition of the east wing in 1938. The gardens are simple, consisting of a large lawn to the S with a heavily wooded eastern perimeter. The entrance is still flanked by clipped yew hedges which were extended east and south with the Pinsent planting of the late 1930s. Some elements of this remain in the track from the east of the house to the woodland, though the Pinsent design of hedging to form an enclosed rectangular lawn before the east end of the house has been destroyed. Elsewhere, the walled gardens remain with one garden in use, and there has been extensive replanting with native species round the perimeter hedges to north and west. Belts of young conifers define the edges of the tennis court and other paths.


Little has changed in the basic layout of the house and gardens since the nineteenth century. Arthur Jeffress extended the house eastwards in 1937 and in 1938 Cecil Pinsent designed for him a small Italianate garden round this eastern extension to the house, linking it also to the wooded area to the east. His planting consisted largely of box and yew hedges. While some hedges remain, those to the south of the house have been removed. Elsewhere, outbuildings have been updated, notably the stable block. The kitchen gardens remain, the large garden now laid to lawn and divided into rectangles by paths.

HGT Research: March 2012


Hampshire Record Office
HRO 39A08/1 Surrender of land to Thomas Croft of Marwell Lodge 1808
HRO Microfilm 368 p.99 Harriet Lowndes will 1877
HRO 64M80/10 Sale Particulars Marwell Hall estate 1934
HRO M73/BP3477 Sawyer and Mort architects: plans for Arthur Jeffress 1937
HRO 157M89W/2 p.639 Letting via Greenslade of Marwell Lodge 1959
HRO 38M82/128 Sale Particulars Savills 2004
From Hampshire County Council:
Milne 1791
Greenwood 1816
Ordnance survey from Hampshire County Council:
1” 1810
1st ed. 1869 25”
2nd ed 1896 25”
3rd ed. 1909 25”
4th ed. 1939 25”
Mastermap Live 2010
Bing 2010 and Google 2011 aerial maps accessed April, August and December 2011
Electronic sources Thomas Croft occupation
www.britishhistoryonline History of Marwell Manor Marwell House, gate piers, and Coach House photograph of restored Marwell House 2007 Marwell House 2004 Homes and Gardens article Felix Kelly watercolour 1939 – 1947 Details of Dorothea Boyle, Viscountess Kelburn genealogy
The Morning Post on-line1818 House to let:
Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle 1823 online Sale of effects:
Hampshire Advertiser and Salisbury Guardian 1845
South Downs Integrated Landscape Character Assessment 2005 Accessed November 2011
UK Newstand Accessed March 2012
Books and Directories
Kelly’s Directory: 1895,1899,1903,1907,1915,1920,1923,1927,1931,1935,1939
William White: Dictionary of Hampshire and Isle of Wight 1859, 1878
Post Office Directory 1867, 1875
Mercer and Crocker’s Hampshire Directory 1871
Country Life Vol 184 p.94 5 July 1990 ref to Pinsent
Sporting Reminiscences of Hampshire from 1745 – 1862. London Chapman and Hall, p.189 Samuel Hawkins as resident of Marwell Lodge
Evelyn Houghton 2001 (George Mann Publications) Owslebury Then and Now
Other Sources
Hedley, Gill, biographer of Arthur Jeffress, personal communications April – October 2011
Southampton City Art Gallery archive, courtesy of Tim Craven, Lead Curatorial Officer
Homes and Gardens article on Marwell House restoration by Gilly Kemsley and Patrick Fennessey

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Owslebury No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
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