|HCC Site ID:||1121||Parish:||Lyndhurst|
|Access:||Access to Hotel||Ownership:||Boutique Hotel|
Image: Google online 9/1/2015
Location and site
Pondhead House, Parkhill House, and now Lime Wood Hotel (2015) lies within what was the Old Deer Park to the east of Lyndhurst. Parts of the park pale are still identifiable and recorded on maps.
By 1665 there was a small farm on the site, known as Pondhead Farm (HRO 1665A/014). Mid 19th century the house was enlarged into a gentleman’s residence by William Morant. In 1877 the house was bought by Henry Smith Wright (HRO 25M55/144-5) and converted into a small preparatory school run by Canon Rawnsley (Kelly’s Directory). In about 1920 Parkhill was bought by Sir Stephen Leech a retired diplomat, and returned to residential use. On Sir Stephen’s death in 1925 the house was sold again (HRO 159M88/1216), and occupied by Mr and Mrs Thomasson who built a model farm on the estate. During WWII Parkhill was requisitioned by the National Fire Service, and, when the war was over, auctioned again and bought by Colonel Caryl Hargreaves, who converted it into a hotel (AHBR). Parts of the estate outside the area enclosed by a ha-ha, were gradually sold off. It remained a hotel under varied ownership, until bought in 1998/9 by Alex and Caroline Aitken, and renamed Le Poussin Restaurant and Hotel. Today it is closed for major alterations and renovation. Much of the designed garden that was extant within living memory has been destroyed by the new buildings. The redevelopment plans include a Landscape Statement by Maisie Rowe MA MLD MLI, that outlines a strategy to provide a variety of character round the site with different qualities ranging from wild to formal, depending on the relationship with the forest and the architectural characteristics of each building (www.lepoussin.co.uk). Parkhill House is due to re-open as a country house hotel in October 2008.
HGT Research: August 2008