Pitt Manor (Pittfield)

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HCC Site ID: 1537 Parish: Hursley
Designations: AONB, CA, SMR, House LB II Area: Small
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Multiple

Location and Site

Pitt Manor is situated on Kilham Lane, about one mile south west of the centre of Winchester at a crossroads along the Romsey to Winchester road. The lodge on the corner is in a valley, with a park-like linear garden rising to the west.

Historic Development

The 1st ed OS Map, 6”, 1870, notes only a very modest building on a rectangular defined site along ‘Kilham Road’.  A further very small, undefined building lies in the garden area to the south of the dwelling. NOTE: Pitt Manor should not be confused with a much larger and more historic building to be found at Pitt Farm, sited opposite the lane leading to the dwellings in Pitt village, which later was  known as Pitt Manor Farm. The farmhouse was listed GR II by EH.

By 1896, the small dwelling of 1870 has been enlarged into a considerable-sized house, named Pitt Manor, lying along Kilham Road as shown in the 2nd ed OS map, 25”.  A lodge is sited on the corner of Kilham road and what is now Romsey Road, with a long tree-lined entrance drive running parallel to Kilham Road and leading to the main house, south of which the tree-lined area widens.  A small unidentifiable building, also visible on the 1st ed OS map, lies within this garden area. A coach house and stables lie to the west of the main house, also sited alongside Kilham Road.  Further west again, there is an orchard. Parkland has been created south of the dwellings and extends beyond the orchard in the west and to the Romsey Winchester road in the east (6” map in Winchester Parish file).

Kelly’s Directory (1907) refers to Pitt Manor, residence of William Wycliffe Barlow.  Building plans for an additional new coach house as well as a new boiler house are shown in the building plans (1900) for Mr Wycliffe Barlow. The size and layout of the new extension appears on the 3rd ed OS map, 25” (1909-10) with the whole site of the Manor House and large coach house, together with the long entrance drive running parallel to Kilham Road. The enlargement of the Coach house has created an interesting visible feature with the roof structures which could be described as being in the Arts and Crafts style.

The gardens were later widened considerably in the area to the south-west of the main house and coach house, with a shelter belt of trees delineating them from the fields to the south of the house and to the west of the orchard. A square sunken area to the south west of the coach house is likely to have been a sunken garden, and a belt of mixed species was planted along the western edge of this part of the gardens. Kelly’s Directory, 1915, notes Mrs Barlow in residence at Pitt Manor. The orchard has been divided into two halves and a new area of conifers planted on the western side.

The Manor House was sold in 1928 and the Sales Details describe ‘…an estate of 57 or 71 acres all of pasture. The house has eight bedrooms, beautiful pleasure gardens including and garaging for 5 cars. It is approached by a long picturesque carriage drive with entrance lodge. There is good stabling, two garages (the extended old Coach House) and covered washing space as well as another capital cottage. The gardens consist of extensive pleasure lawns, two grass tennis courts, herbaceous borders and a very well stocked kitchen garden with soft fruit enclosure, greenhouse and vinery’. By this time, the Manor had become a substantial, if small, country-style estate.

The 4th ed OS map, 1932, 25” scale: 1:2500 clearly shows an added stretch of conifers planted next to the orchard area, as well as one separating the garden from the pasture to the south west. It also shows another sunken area to the south of the Manor House, which is not shown on the 3rd ed OS map, possibly a swimming pool.

Current Description

Gradually through the 20th Century, Kilham Road became Kilham Lane, parts of the Pitt Manor estate have been sold off and separate dwellings added. An aerial view, 2013, shows the linear garden edged with trees, running parallel with Kilham Lane from the Lodge to a newly built house in the old orchard area. The whole of the southern side of the site still has the shelter belt of trees with dense growth visible round the old orchard site and between the gardens of the Coach House and cottage and the Manor itself. Despite the linear park now being in a few different ownerships, the site as a whole clearly remains as it was created in the early 20th century. The appearance of being one estate was still to be seen  until near the end of 2017 when many of the trees were felled, particularly the conifers within the gardens round the coach house cottage and the old orchard. The trees close to the Coach House Cottage were coppiced and have begun to re-establish themselves. A further move away from the linear estate was made in early 2018, when an opening in the long stretch of wall along Kilham Lane was opened up near the Coach House Cottage to create an access to remove the felled trees for a small new housing development. The development was not pursued but the site continues to be broken up whilst somehow still maintaining  something of the original linear estate.

Significance of the site of Pitt Manor

The significance of the site within the City of Winchester lies in the feature of a linear small park, bounded by lines of mature trees both lane-side and meadows-side which lend a character to this residential area, which is almost unique.

References:  HRO 191MW/10/36 and Sales details 1928

OS maps, 1st- 4th editions

Information: December 2020


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