Northerwood House

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HCC Site ID: 1019 Parish: Lyndhurst
Designations: House LB II*, South Lodge LB II; TPOs, NFNP Area: c3 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Crown & Flat owners/ Forestry Commission
administers Crown land

Location and site

Northerwood House on Emery Down, the highest part of Lyndhurst, has magnificent views over the New Forest to the Solent, and can be seen from the surrounding area.

Historic development

It is known that in the late 18th century there was a house on the site owned by Robert Ballard. This was extended in 1800 for Charles Michell by John Nash and George Repton, and developed further for John Pulteney in the 1830s, when a conservatory was added to the house, and the grounds were laid out with woodland, and exotics plants and trees, many of them are still in situ (Northerwood House archives). On lower ground there was an octagonal kitchen garden and an orchard. The Tithe map of 1838 gives a total area of the estate as a little over 110 acres, much of it in small holdings and large areas of pasture. The entrance drive ran through the Crown land of Northerwood Inclosure, as it still does today.
During the 19th century Northerwood was leased by the Pulteney family to several people, including Lord Londesborough who trained his falcons in the grounds. In 1879 the house was bought by Festus Kelly (Kelly’s Directories) who sold off portions of the land and then put the house up for auction. It was bought by E. J. Kelly who owned it until 1907, he made considerable alterations to the garden creating along the south east front of the house, a long wide terrace with a brick retaining wall and steps down to a double tennis lawn. Following E J Kelly there were several more owners who sold off parcels of land so that the total acreage had been reduced to 80 acres when it was bought by Mrs Aris in 1929. During WW 2 the estate was requisitioned and occupied by the military, until in 1945 Major Aris gave Northerwood House and approximately 28 acres for the use of the Foresty Commision as a forestry education centre. In the 1950s the sites of the former kitchen garden and orchard and further land on the edges of the estate, were sold to the New Forest Rural District Council for housing development (OS Landline map).

Current description

In 1972 Northerwood House was listed Grade II, for its architectural and historical interest. A year later the house was bought and permission granted for conversion into ten self-contained flats and six new flats in two new wings. The Forestry commission has retained 16.19 acres of the former estate and the residents of Northerwood have a pleasure ground of 7.85 acres comprising a formal planted garden, an open lawn and woodland.


Northerwood House sited on the height of Emery Down overlooking Lyndhurst and the New Forest, stands out against its woodland setting. Its magnificent view was admired by George III. The core of the present house was built by the end of the 18th century, and has been enlarged by several subsequent owners. It is surrounded by woodland to the north and open pasture to the south. The designed grounds close to the house, were developed particularly in the early 20th century. Post WW2 it was owned by the Forestry Commission, parcels of land were sold for housing and Northerwood House with a garden of nearly 8 acres, converted into 16 self-contained flats.

HGT Research: March 2008

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