|HCC Site ID:||1821||Parish:||Kings Worthy|
|Access:||Historic site||Ownership:||Individual Private|
Site of house and garden now built on
The site of Morton House and gardens off ChurchLane in Kingsworthy is now a small estate of 25 houses developed in the 1990s. Ten additional houses being built in 2020, in what had been the coachman’s cottage area.
By the time of the 1st ed, 25″ OS map (1869), Morton House had become a substantial villa-type house approached via an entrance drive, situated off Church Lane. Formal gardens, a probable kitchen garden and surrounding meadow or parkland are shown. In the early 1870s Acheson and Mary Gray moved in to be near her mother who was then widowed and living at nearby Northleigh House. The land of Morton House abutted the grounds of Kings Worthy House and by the time of the 2nd ed OS map 25″ (1890) , more land had been acquired. Some of this land lay to the north west of Kings Worthy House and had a shared wall with green houses on either side. Land stretching to Hinton House, had also been acquired When Mary’s mother died in 1885 there was little incentive to stay in the area and the house was put up for sale. Sales details of 1886 describe a yellow brick house under a slate roof with stabling surrounded by a walled courtyard. The grounds now extended to 14 ½ acres and had room for a coachman’s cottage on the boundary close to Hinton House and a gardener’s lodge at the gate from Church lane. The house does not appear to have been sold and the census for 1901 shows Morton House to be uninhabited. By 1910, the Hodgson family was living at Morton House.
In the later 20th century the house became a home for the elderly and acquired an institutional appearance. It was finally demolished in the 1990s and a small estate of 25 houses known as Hinton Fields built on its site. A group of these houses has the boundary wall mentioned above, defining the end of their gardens and one house has a gateway in the wall that leads into the now derelict grounds of Kingsworthy House. Along the parts of the wall between the grounds of Morton House and Kings Worthy House that were retained, there are traces of the former adjoining green houses. Some yews also remain with other old trees in a small communal landscaped space of the housing development.
Update 2020 – The Coachman’s Cottage area was incorporated into an Adult Learning Centre but in 2020 that has been demolished, and ten individual ‘Georgian-style’ houses are being built within its perimeters. Apart from what may have been the lodge on Church Lane, there is almost nothing left of what in the 19th C was one of the important villas of Kingsworthy.
A substantial villa house in the 19th century eventually covering 14 ½ acres. Demolished in the 1990s for a housing estate; the lodge, some old walls and trees are all that remain.
Information from Worthy Local History Group and maps 2004 updated in 2020 by HGT