|HCC Site ID:||1462||Parish:||Nursling & Rownhams|
|Designations:||House LB II||Area:||3.6 ha|
|Access:||No Public Access/wedding venue||Ownership:||Private|
Image: Rownham House website, January 2015
Location and Site
Rownhhams House is on the northern fringe of Rowlands village cut off to the north by the M27 which cuts through part of the original estate.
In the 14th century, the Grand Master of the Knights of Jerusalem held Runhams, which occupied 80 acres (32.4ha) of land. This subsequently became Rownhams. In the mid 18th century Robert Barton, married the niece of the Chamberlayne family, and purchased land at Rownhams from them to built a substantial Georgian residence. The 1791 Milne map shows the house enclosed by fields or park, and owned by Barton Esq. When he died in 1798 there were stables (with clocktower), coachhouse, offices, granary, dovehouse, 2 new lodges, gardens and an avenue leading to the house. During the 19th century various improvements were made and the 1870s O.S. maps show the house is set in parkland with deciduous and evergreen planting clearly defining its boundaries; lodge, approach drive, walled kitchen garden with greenhouses, large fishpond, pathway to Rownhams Farm and another entrance drive to Rownhams village. The sales notice and map of 1903 gives the area as 41 acres (16.6ha), with 33.75 acres (13.6ha) of well-timbered parkland, a 1acre fishpond (0.4ha) with a boathouse, and the rest, garden and grounds. The kitchen garden is stated as only partly walled. There are various hothouses, pits and frames. In addition to the above, the 1924 sales notice lists specimen trees, an aviary by the pool, a space for 2 tennis courts, a rockery, and a gardener’s bothy. Major Richard Winstanley bought the house and remained there until his death in 1954, when the property was again for sale. The house and grounds were advertised as being suitable for offices or a scholastic establishment. It was purchased for offices with 2 residential flats, with the land to the north and west of the house becoming a transport depot. It is likely that some of the land was subsequently sold.
There are now a number of offices occupying the house and stable block; the gardens are tidy, and the pond has been cleaned and is managed. The park now much reduced has reverted to woodland with a number of fine specimen trees. Reference to the icehouse in the grounds, has only been recently noted; it has an unusual chimney. Housing development has occurred in the rest of the park.
Mid 18th century Georgian house and park, developed by the Victorians into a landscape park and pleasure ground, with a well-provided kitchen garden growing exotic fruits and vegetables. The house and stable block, with its unusual clock tower, are now offices. There are transport depots to the west and north of the office complex. A small area of garden and park remain, the rest is private housing.
HGT Research: June 2001