|HCC Site ID:||1263||Parish:||Newton|
|Designations:||LB Grade II||Area:|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Mixed – Residential and Commercial|
Location and Site
The earliest mention of NEWTOWN as a mesne Borough of the Bishop of Winchester occurs about the year 1218, when the accounts for ‘Novus Burgus’ first appear on the episcopal Pipe Rolls and when the Bishop of Winchester received licence to hold a market in his manor ‘de Novo Burgo de Clere’. In 1224-25 a ditch was dug around the town at the bishop’s expense, and in 1225-26 the bishop’s own house was built in the borough.
The rare surviving books of tourns at this period suggest no special industry at Newtown. It was a wayside village of inns and small holdings, a staging post on the Newbury and Winchester toll road, backed by much common and waste. The mediaeval borough of Newtown was formed from part of the parish of Burghclere, and flourished in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The post Norman mediaeval town site of Newtown, lies north east of the Church of St. Mary and St. John The Baptist. This old site of Newtown was evacuated as a result of the plague. The borough lay within the parkland that now extends east from the A34 to beyond Newtown House. Its location at the bridge is critical to the development of the village.
In 1648 Newtown was sold with the other possessions of the bishopric, the purchaser being James Storey. On the accession of Charles II it was restored, but afterwards acquired by Henry John George Herbert, Lord Porchester – son and heir of Henry George second Earl of Carnarvon. During the 18th century the land was cleared to create the park.
Comparisons between the tithe apportionment map of 1839, the OS 6” map 1913 edition and the aerial photograph taken in recent times indicates that land ownership boundaries are consistent, that woodland acreages have increased and blocks can be clearly identified within the same footprint. The parish church of St. Mary and St. John the Baptist was built in 1865 on the site of the original mediaeval chapel. The building was financed entirely by Edmund and Elizabeth Arbuthnot. Butchers, bakers, ironmongers and shoemakers were listed in the old borough records, but more recently the parish has been famed locally for making wooden rakes. The house is a 2 storeys. red brick structure built in the early 19th century described as a medium sized country house, and Edmund Arbuthnot was named as owner in the 1839 tithe map.
In 1911 Newtown House was the residence of Lady Arbuthnot, the principal landowner, still part of the estate of the Earl of Carnarvon. In 1968 the estate was offered for sale as a whole or in lots and included 1850 acres parkland trout stream, pastureland and woodland.
Parkland is reduced to the area immediately surrounding the house, Woodland shown in the 1873 OS 1st edition 6” map is largely unchanged except in its maturity including Arbuthnot Wood.
The importance of this property lies in its setting within the village. The conjunction of the roads at the entrance to Newtown House, and this relationship between the house, church, and cottages.
No traces of the mediaeval borough can be seen above ground today. The estate has been connected with the Earls of Carnarvon. In 1674 only sixty-four houses remained, During the 18th century the land was cleared to create the park, and by 1783, the commons were enclosed.
The importance of Newtown Park is the relationship between the mansion house, church, cottages within the village context. The designation of the area within the park as an archaeologically important site also recognises the presence of the medieval old town cleared during the plague years.
Landscape Planning Status:
SINC Newtown Common – 58 ha site Swampy woodland with good fern Flora
Burghclere Common is situated south of Newtown Common and north of the village of Burghclere. The site is known to support a rich flora indicating long continuity of woodland and heathland cover.
Herbert Plantation, a Local Nature Reserve.
TPO Yes no 382 in grounds of Newtown House
Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: October 2009