|HCC Site ID:||1425||Parish:||Wonston|
|Access:||Access to Hotel||Ownership:||Hotel, Private|
Location and Site
Situated south of Bullington Cross and east of the A34 from Sutton Scotney. The Winchester Landscape Character Assessment notes that the small parks and associated houses on the S-facing alley side are particularly associated with pasture and ornamental trees.
The house was originally probably built in the 16th century for the St John family, subsequently developed in the 19th century to become Norton Manor. It was skilfully restored and enlarged by Mr Hampton at the beginning of the 20th century. Norton Farm lay close to the Manor and any park area would have abutted farmland. By the 19th century features of the manor included an ogee-domed orangery, a long range of glasshouses built between 1870-90, a walled garden with espaliered fruit trees, a further smaller and later walled garden with flower beds, to the rear of the house. There was a lake, possibly an earlier fishpond, a small parkland area and more formal lawns. Stables were built in the late 19th century or early 20th century and there were other outbuildings. A striking feature of the house were corner pillars topped with blue and yellow Dutch tiles. Up until 1980, the Manor was lived in as a family home by Mr and Mrs Willis. In 1986 it was sold to Nomura, the Japanese bank who demolished the farm, though thatched the barn, and built a Conference Centre. The Manor house itself was seldom used during the next 13 years. Fanfare Hotels bought the whole in 1999. In 2000, Dolce International purchased the complex as an international conference centre, carried out extensive refurbishment including the Manor House, keeping very much to the traditional style.
The complex changed hands again and became the Norton Park Hotel. Extensive alterations to the access were made and the hotel is now approached from the west to the east via a very long new, drive. There has also been considerable tree planting along the drive which traverses land hitherto farmland and when visited in 2008, a landscape plan to create parkland was being drawn up. By 2012, many trees had been planted in the landscape.
There are many mature trees including a huge Cedrus Atlantica Glauca. In 1976, the lake apparently dried up and was dredged out, In 2012, it was home to trout, eels and many wild fowl. When seen in 2008, the orangery, the walled garden and the glasshouses required restoration and had plants growing through the glasshose roof. By 2012, the walled garden had deteriorated further; the frames of greenhouses and the orangery remained but the plants growing through the roofs had been removed. In 2008, the stables were intact, down to the names of the horses in the stalls and although planning permission was granted for conversion to offices in 2002, it was not implemented; the stables remain untouched. (2012).
An additional, small walled garden is a pleasant sitting area for hotel guests. The original house has been well restored and is used for events. A large fitness and beauty centre has been created in the grounds.
16th century house, extended 19th century; restored and enlarged early 20th century. Small, formal gardens with a fishpond/lake and 19th century garden features including an orangery, walled garden with espaliered fruit trees and glasshouses all requiring attention. 21st century a long,new access drive through newly created parkland. Now the Norton Park Hotel .
Information: October 2002 updated 2008 and 2012