|HCC Site ID:||1379||Parish:||Newton Valence|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and site
Newton Valence Place stands in the centre of its parkland, to the west of the village church, on chalk downs, a few miles south of Alton. It is within the South Downs National Park.
The land once belonged to the Manor House in Newton Valence. In 1914 Edmund Jervoise and his wife decided to build a house in the village and called it Newton Valence Place (HRO 44M69/F16/12/34). The estate included the ‘Pleasure Row’ once part of the Manor lands and mentioned in Edmund Jervoise diaries “the family took tea here – Pleasure Row – after looking over the new house” and he goes on to say that he “had Bassett put in some plants” (HRO44M69/F16/12/34). In August 1914, Edmund Jervoise was appointed Captain of the Royal Naval College Greenwich and moved to Greenwich before the new house was completed; he was later to become a Rear Admiral. In December of the same year he writes that 100 men and two officers from the 9th Division Training ASC “took up residence in my house in Newton Valence”. In other words his home was requisitioned (HRO 44M69/F16/12/34).
When in April 1919 Edmund Jervoise visited his home he was worried about a Beech tree that had been cut down but decided it had improved the appearance of the house. He also mentions a well in the garden which had filled with chalk but this is not marked on any maps, although a chalk pit is shown. In April of that year Legg, probably the gardener, was asked to mark out a garden wall and later he and four men dug the foundations. This may contradict a village story that the garden walls were built by Royal Engineers whilst billeted in the house. The family move back into the house on July 2nd 1919. The dairies go on to say “the trees and shrubs have grown enormously and everything looks flourishing and doing well”. In Pleasure Row they cleared the rides and bought a pony for garden work. By September they were putting staples into the now completed kitchen garden walls and wiring ready for fruit trees which they bought in November from Hillier’s of Winchester. A summer house was having its roof fitted and the lodge garden was planted with bulbs (HRO 44M69/F16/12/39). About this time two heated glasshouses were also built within the walled garden one housing five vines (pers. comm. ex gardener) and another glass house on the outside wall. One of the outbuildings was used as a small diary and the drive was planted with holly trees.
By 1945 Mr. Jervoise was finding the house “too large and straggly” and too expensive to run and decided to sell (HRO 44M69/F16/12/65). His diaries of this period talk of hedge trimming in Shed Field, clearing leaves in the dell gardens and picking gooseberries and blackcurrants for bottling. Hay is cut in September and he tries to interest Sir Colin Jardine of Newton Manor house, in the dairy with a view to his taking it over. This probably did not materialize, as a milk float was put up for sale during this time (HRO 44M69/F16/12/65).
In September 1945 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Edgar bought Newton Valence Place and Mr. Jervoise moved to Farrington Hurst (HRO 44M69/F16/12/65).
Five gardeners including Mr. Roberts and in 1951 his son, Tom Roberts, were employed by the Edgars. Tom now retired but still living on the estate, can recall two early peach trees and five vines in the heated greenhouses, apple trees within the walled gardens and flowers around the edges. The Edgars planted Lime trees along the top drive and filled in the chalk pit which became a rockery. (pers.comm. Tom Roberts).
Mrs. Edgar died in 1980 (Times online) and the property was bought by a company called Broadlands Development. They advertised it as a fine country house in its own park with formal gardens, a walled garden of 2.672 ha. a peach house and green houses. The greenhouses had underground water stores and two were heated by oil fire. One greenhouse was described as a chrysanthemum house. The estate also had park land, woods, arable grass land and eight cottages. In all it consisted of 52 acres (21 ha) with a further 160 acres (64.7 ha) of agricultural land to be sold as one or more lots. The drive was bounded by a mown verge with an avenue of lime trees. In front of the house was a gravel sweep bounded by a terrace from the kitchen gardens and formal gardens. This arbour around the drive was of brick pillars and wooden arches with climbing roses and shrubs. The sales details goes on to describe the clipped box bushes and the topiary which the present owner mentioned was once kept trimmed by a pharmaceutical company who used the clippings for a cancer treatment. (pers. comm. Mr. Lewis) There was also a summer house in this formal garden and the walled garden beds were divided by grass paths. There were also stables, a garage and chauffeur’s flat and an orchard with over 50 trees. The original lodge to the Manor House was included in this sale and so was the village post office (Grade II) (HRO 77A03/18). The terrace walls, which today have two stone lions had at this time two stone cherubs. The price for the whole estate was in the region of £3m.
An attractive red brick house in the Georgian style built in the early 20th century, Newton Valence Place is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. Twp approach drive from east and west, are being replanted with a mix of holly and walnut trees. The walled kitchen garden to the east and unusually in front of the house but hidden from view, is still productive with vegetables, herbs and fruit cages. Old fruit trees grow both amongst the flower borders and against the walls, and it is possible that the original peach trees mentioned by Tom Roberts, still grow in one of the glasshouses which have been repaired. Yew hedging grows both within the walls separating the different areas and outside where they are well trimmed in topiary style. The gardens are laid to lawns around the south and west of the house. On the west side, or back of the house long stone steps lead down through a rockery to a pond dug by present owners (pers.comm. Tom Roberts) and on to level lawns. A wall along the terrace has steps down to the ha-ha, built by the present owners, and two stone lions survey the fields beyond. The old tree-lined drive to the Manor house is a footpath within the house grounds; only a few of the old trees still stand and the present owners have replaced some of the metal railings and gates around the fields. They are gradually replanting the lime tree drive with walnut and holly trees.
Built early 1900’s on land that was once part of the Manor, Newton Valence Place is a large red brick house within well maintained grounds of some 20.2 ha (50 acres) which include productive walled gardens, drives in and out with lawns, flower beds and parkland beyond.
HGT Research: November 2010
Hampshire Records Office (HRO)
44M69/F16/12/34 Mr. Jervoise diary reference building of Newton Valence Place 1914
44M69/F16/12/39 Mr. Jervoise diary reference move into Newton Valence Place 1914
44M69/F16/12/65 Mr. Jervoise diary reference house move 1945
77A03/18 Sales details for Newton Valence Place 1980
Pers. comm. Mr. G. Lewis present owner
Pers. comm. Mr. T. Robert ex-gardener