|HCC Site ID:||1580||Parish:||Twyford|
|Designations:||House LB II*, SDNP||Area:||Small|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Mildmay House is situated near the church in the village of Twyford; west of the B3335, approximately three miles south of Winchester. The village lies on a river terrace to the east of the River Itchen.
Mildmay House was until 1985, the vicarage of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford, which lies across the lane to the west of the house. The house was bought from the diocese in 1985 and renamed Mildmay House after the Mildmay family of Shawford Park, in whose gift the living of Twyford had been. One of the covenants of the sale was that a gateway which had led directly to the churchyard should be closed. A C16 timber framed building stood on the site until around 1700 when Walter Mildmay, became the vicar of the parish and set about making improvements.He proceeded to rebuild and enlarge the modest 2-storey Priest’s house with a classical red brick, Queen Anne façade which survives today. A small part of the original C16 house is to be found in the kitchen at the back of the house. A new wing, housing an elegant dining room was added to the south and east in 1869.
Entrance to the house and gardens is through a courtyard with a listed barn, greenhouse and old stables which have now been partly converted to a coach house and office. When viewed In 2007, the garden to the front of the house was laid to lawn with rose beds, herbaceous area, small pond and fountain. Brick and flagstone terraces have been laid to both back and garden doors.
The gardens behind the house are also laid to lawn with a long, herbaceous border, several specimen trees including a mulberry tree dating to James 1, a huge, ancient Cedar of Lebanon and a magnificent beech tree. A yew, which is reputedly the oldest clipped specimen in the country, lies in the churchyard opposite. However, the most outstanding feature of the gardens is the raised terrace, which lies between the garden of Mildmay House and Twyford House, and runs across the width of the Mildmay site. It is believed that the terrace dating back to Tudor times, was an Elizabethan bowling alley. It is likely that the terrace and retaining brick wall were improved in the C18 with, for example, the central niche-like feature. At this time, romantic views were important and the view from the terrace over the Itchen Valley to the west is still exceptional. The back wall of the terrace forms the boundary with Twyford House garden to the east.
The owners who bought in 1985 acquired a part of the former Twyford House garden and with advice from English Heritage and the planning authorities, created an opening in the wall. When viewed in 2007, this garden had brick walls on two sides, an established yew hedge on the Twyford House side and a new yew hedge to the south. The gardens contained a sheltered space for soft fruit, vegetables, an extensive asparagus bed, as well as a perimeter and bisecting paths and a central water feature. The house is listed and was upgraded to Grade II* in 1986.
Mildmay House acquired new owners in 2008.
Former vicarage; 14th century 2-storey timbered now Queen Anne faced; raised possible Tudor terrace; recent kitchen garden and many specimen trees.
Information: February 2003 brief addition, 2008