|HCC Site ID:||1969||Parish:||Hedge End/West End & Botley|
|Designations:||Area:||3.39 ha originally|
|Access:||Historic site with specimen trees remaining||Ownership:|| Private residence –
Reservoir owned by Water Board
Location and Site
Moorhill House was built in an elevated position along Moorhill Road,West End, surrounded with narrow belts of trees.
The first Moorhill House was built in the mid-19th century with several other large houses along the Moorhill Road. It was a very desirable place to live, being in an elevated position with fine views over the surrounding countryside. The house was on the upper end of a triangular plot covering 3.39 ha with an upper entrance by a Lodge from Moorhill Road and a second entrance further south with a long winding drive to the front of the house. Narrow belts of conifers and deciduous trees lined each of the three boundaries. By 1909, a second house, Fir Tree Cottage, had been built to the north west of Moorhill House and the whole site very heavily wooded (3rd ed OS map, 1909). The 4th ed OS map (1931-33) shows that a reservoir has been built on the other side of Moorhill Road.
In 1960, the original Moorhill House was demolished and a covered reservoir built on the site. A further reservoir lies to the north of Fir Tree Cottage, which was renamed Moorhill House following the demolition of the original house.
Current description of site 2012
There is a footpath through Telegraph Woods which starts to the south of the radio transmitter mast and skirts the two reservoirs (OS Colour Raster, 2012). The trees in this part of the woods are a mixture of Douglas fir, Scots pine, sweet chestnut, sycamore, oak, beech, birch and several yew trees. Of note is a line of mature beech trees which could have marked the boundary of Moorhill House on the northern side and a fine wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) in what would have been the grounds of the house. Two mature holm oaks (Quercus ilex), which may have flanked the upper entrance, stand on Moorhill Road. Otherwise there is little evidence of the original house or gardens. In 2009 there was a very bad fire at the new Moorhill House causing considerable damage.
The original mid-19th century Moorhill House sited with fine views over surrounding countryside, was demolished in 1960 and a reservoir built on its site. The adjoining Fir Tree Cottage renamed Moorhill House badly damaged by fire in 2009. Site has many specimen trees remaining.
Information: May 2012
1st ed OS 25″ 1868
3rd ed OS 1909
4th ed OS 1931-33 Colour Raster 2012