Newton Valence Manor

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HCC Site ID: 1378 Parish: Newton Valence
Designations: SDNP, SINC House LB II Area:
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private – 2 dwellings

Location and site

The old manor house sits in the South Downs National Park, beside the village church and about 190 metres above sea level. It is on chalk downs about four miles south of Alton in the Hampshire village of Newton Valence. It is within the South Downs National Park.

Historic development

There is mention of a manor in the Domesday Book and in the 13th century a licence for a deer park was given to William de Valence (Anderson 2004, 23; VCH 1908, 24). The old deer park boundary can still be identified along the field edges to the north of house.   On the 1836 tithe awards and map, a pleasure park, a coppice of firs and a plantation are noted and the remains of two fishponds (now filled in) are marked that.  A line of exceptionally tall yew trees between the house and common are mentioned in 1908 (VCH 1908, 24). Over the years the house had many owners until Mr. Henry Chawner, a London Goldsmith, bought the estate in the late 18th or early 19th century and converted the older part of the house into a kitchen block, adding an elegant Georgian house alongside (VCH 1908, 24).  From 1810 onwards the Chawner family improved the gardens and parkland (AHBR 51817).  The 1870 OS map shows a kitchen garden with glass houses in the grounds besides the church and two summer houses on the edge of Pleasure Row Plantation to the north of the house.  There were several paths/rides through the woods leading to these buildings. Some time during the mid-19th century a lodge was built at the western entrance with a tree lined drive planted to the house (OS map 1872).
In the  1880’s Captain Edward Chawner (retired), who was an army tutor and farmer, was living at the Manor house (HRO 19M60/90). On the 1881census there were six students living with the family.  In 1883, the Manor house and pleasure grounds were for sale described ‘with pleasure gardens in undulating country delightful views in all directions and a handsomely timbered park land and arable land’.   Manor and Shotters farms were also for sale (Times online 1883).  Major H. Chawner of Shotters died in 1917 (Times online 1917) which suggests the Manor house and Manor farm were sold and the family moved to Shotters farm, once an estate farm. Sometime after 1920, the glass houses were removed (OS 1910).  The house was then split into two (Times online 1908).  Mrs.Ulick Burke lived at the Manor House in 1931and she opened the gardens for the Queens Institute of District nurses (Times online 1931).  The house is described as ‘an older house supposed to date from 1787 yellow brick round corners and a central bay’ (Pevsner & Lloyd 1967, 353). The Georgian part of the house was for sale in 1994 described ‘with superb views across its own land and includes some fine cedars agricultural land and woods’. The house has a Selborne (yellow) brick elevation with some 19th century additions adjoining an earlier Elizabethan Manor, a long sweeping drive with a turning circle in front and a back drive past the church, lawns with cedars, stone terrace box hedging and stone balustrade.  The terrace leads down to further walled courtyard and pool together with ¾ acre in 1977 for £48,000 (Times online 1977)  (HRO 38M8246).

Current description

Today the Manor is an attractive building, now two homes on a large garden plot.  The older part, a long irregular two storey, 17th century building once converted to a kitchen block, is a family home with gardens to the south and an attractive small walled courtyard which houses a swimming pool.  Upon the wall of this older building is a sundial possibly part of the sundial marked on the 1909 map and also a family crest which has yet to be identified. The drive to this part of the house is the original southern entrance. These gardens are mainly lawns, with attractive topiary and flower beds.  The newer house, part Georgian with a Victorian wing is a separate, but attached dwelling, within the larger part of the grounds.  There is an attractive stone balustrade with urns, overlooking the lawns, where the old veranda once stood. Very few old trees remain there are some recently planted silver birch in the lawn. A line of trees follows the boundary of the fields once part of the deer park, to the north of the house and church. The two properties have their own drives and the old outhouses and smithy are all now private houses.  Between the house and the church grounds, stables have been built backing onto fields. Both houses now have swimming pools and there are two tennis courts one belonging to one of the converted outhouses. The original north-west tree-lined drive has all but disappeared with just a few trees remaining along a footpath and the lodge at its entrance a pretty, round, white house, is now a private residence with one gate pier still standing.
Today Newton Valence Place, built on part of the old estate lands stands to the north-west of the original manor house next to Newton Valence Farm, also once part of the manor lands.

Summary

An old manor house with a deer park, extended in the 1800s; later converted into two homes. Little remains of the  parkland except for a few deer park boundaries. Outbuildings have been converted into attractive homes.
HGT Research:  August  2010

References:

Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
HRO 38M82/46 Sale details for house 1994
HRO 19M60/90 Chawner family in residence, Tutor and farmer. 1880’s
Maps
1872 O.S 1st 6”*
1870 O.S 1st 25”*
1940 New Popular Edition Maps.
Books
Anderson C.D.J, 2004 The Deer Parks of Hampshire.  An archaeological survey    unpublished MA Thesis, University of Southampton (HCC)
Domesday Book Hampshire
Pevsner N., Lloyd, D., 1967, The Buildings of England Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Penguin Ltd, Middx.
(VCH)  1908,‘A History of the county of Hampshire’, (ed.) W. Page, Vol. 3 pp. 24-30
Field work by Webb 2002a 34-39 and Webb 2002b 28-34
Electronic Sources
1881 Census
Times online 1883 May, estate for sale http://infortrac.galegroup.com (accessed July 2010)
Times online 1917 Mr. Chawner dies at Shotters Farm “   “
Times online 1908 half house for sale.  “   “
Times online 1931 garden open for charity. Mrs. Ulick Burke “   “
Times online 1977 half house for sale.  “   “
AHBR Archaeological and historic buildings record site no 51817


Our address

Address:
Newton Valence No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
GPS:
51.08959982279058, -0.9664803743362427

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