Purlieu House

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HCC Site ID: 1067 Parish: Hythe and Dibden
Designations: Area:
Access: Historic site Ownership: Multiple Private

Location and Site

Purlieu House was once a large estate to the south of Dibden Purlieu and close to what is now the A326, now built over with housing.

Historic Development

The 1st ed OS map, 1870 (HCC), shows only Purlieu Farm.
Purlieu House is believed to have been built between 1869-71 (GP).
Kelly’s Directories of 1895 and 1903 note William Hewitt and then Gerard Fox living in the house. By 1911, Arthur Herber Edwards is named as resident.
The Dibden Tithe Apportionment, 1927, shows that the house belonged to the Grey family and many conifers had been introduced into the grounds. (51M76/P/1/4 HRO).
The 4th ed OS map,1932 (HCC), shows a modest house with a conservatory attached to the main part and a greenhouse or further conservatory attached to a free-standing building to the east.
The 1939 Sales details refer to a moderate-sized residence, other outbuildings, hard and grass tennis courts. Beautiful gardens with a lake, kitchen garden, two entrance lodges and about 80 acres. It also refers to the Farm with house, buildings and 58 acres of arable and grassland (159M88/1277 HRO).
Photographs in the Sales Particulars of 1945 show steps down through flowerbeds where the gardens fall away to a small lake. The text refers to the South Lodge on the southern border of the estate and ‘The beautiful pleasure grounds are a valuable and charming amenity to the Residence. They include a rose garden, a spreading lawn on the south side suitable for a double tennis court, a small rustic wood pavilion, as well as a rustic and tiled summer house. On the west side is a lawn and a magnificent rockery on the west slopes with a main path leading down to woodland walks and the Lake just over ½ acre with an island. Forest trees, pines, firs, cypresses, shrubs and rhododendrons abound in great variety in the grounds, plantations and woodlands’ (157M89W/267 HRO).
1970s The house was demolished (GP).
The OS map around 1980 shows that no house remains, but the fishpond is shown with deciduous and evergreen planting. There is housing in the surrounding area (HCC).

Current Description

A site visit in 2001 noted that the lake/fishpond was still there though overgrown with pond weed. Steps to the house and a small grassed area also remain. The housing estate has left many of the ‘… forest trees, pines, firs, cypresses, shrubs and rhododendrons..’ referred to in the 1945 Sales details. The housing density is of medium proportions and there is a distinct woodland feel to the whole site.

Summary

The late Victorian Purlieu House had large grounds, including a ‘lake’. The house was demolished in the 1970s for housing; the lake, now overgrown, survives with woodland trees and rhododendrons.

Information: 2001

References

HRO Hampshire Record Office
Sales details 1939 159M88/1277
Photograph from Sales Particulars 1945 157M89W/267
HCC Hampshire County Council
OS Maps provided by Hampshire County Council
GP Personal communication with Graham Parkes


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