Sherfield Hall and Sherfield Hill Park (Sherfield Hill, Sherfield Hill Farm)

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HCC Site ID: 1266 & 1267 Parish: Sherfield on Loddon
Designations: House LB II Area: 2ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private residences, multiple ownership

Location and Site

Sherfield Hall is situated about three miles north-east of Basingstoke on the A33 road to Reading.  It is at the very southern edge of Sherfield on Loddon parish and about two miles from the village centre.  A new and extensive housing development called ‘Sherfield Park’ has recently replaced the agricultural land which once surrounded it to the north and west.  The original farmhouse was built on a level raised mound on  a gently sloping hillside.  Open agricultural countryside lies to the east of the A33 and the Basingstoke to Reading railway line runs northwards a little distance to the west of the site (OS Explorer 2004 Sheet 144).

Historic development

The first records for a sale of Sherfield Hill Farm with about 100 acres appear in 1781 (HRO:44M69/K3/13) but it is not marked on maps until the first edition Ordnance Survey of 1817.  It formed part of Henry Lannoy Hunter’s extensive holdings in this part of North Hampshire (Berks.:D/EHR/T52,52,55). Sherfield Hill Farm was a tenanted farm which was transformed into a gentleman’s country residence in the mid-nineteenth century (HRO:10M57/SP624).  This was in line with the increased popularity of the region which resulted from the completion of the London to Southampton railway in the mid-1840s.  After 1852 Gillery Pigott remodelled the farmhouse in the Georgian style and created an informal garden of about five acres with lawns with magnificent specimen trees (HRO:46M84/F82/1).  The farm was removed to a site beyond the main road; here Pigott created a small park in view of the house by removing the existing hedgerows and putting the land to grazing pasture.  Sherfield Hill was further extended in the early twentieth century, renamed Sherfield Hall and a large villa-garden was developed (HRO:134A01).  The garden remained in much the same style until the late the twentieth century when the whole property was sub-divided. (NMRC 1979 and BDBC planning online).

Current description

The house is approached from both north and south; the drive is separated from the A33 and the garden by a thick belt of trees and shrubs containing some fine cedar and yew trees.  The approach to the front of the house has recently been remodelled with a formal brick wall, a pillared gate and steps which emphasise the mound on which the original house stood.  The garden on the south side of the house, now called The Lawns, comprises a sloping lawn bordered with shrubberies.  The main garden lies on the north side and is approach from a terrace and small enclosed grass parterre.  The whole grounds are dominated by a magnificent redwood tree, Sequoia giganteum ‘Wellingtonia’ and they are rich with trees of all varieties.  The topiaried yew hedge is a feature, carefully clipped by man and deer.  The once-manicured lawns, tennis court and croquet lawns are now kept more informally but the effect is to have retained a park-like ambiance within the grounds.  In only one corner does the new housing emerge through the tree belts.  Parts of the garden are now neglected, in particular the walled garden where vandalism has destroyed the range of glasshouses and the Victorian greenhouse is close to collapse.  This is a part of the garden where, sheltered by the brick walls, a formal garden could be restored.

Summary

Since 2000 the whole property has suffered from the encroachment of housing on the north and west; land originally part of the estate has been sold for development and the property now remains an isolated but verdant oasis in the midst of a Basingstoke suburb.  The garden contains a rich variety of trees, many now over 100 years old including some fine specimens of cedar and redwoods.  The importance of this site now lies in its role as a buffer between Chineham and new Sherfield Park; together with Petty’s Copse, which is protected by its SINC status, Sherfield Hall is a haven for rural wildlife and majestic nineteenth-century trees.
HGT Research: November 2009

References

Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
44M69/K3/13 1781 sale details, Sherfield Hill Farm
21M65/F7/206/1/2 1841 Tithe map and apportionment
10M57/SP624 1852 Sale details Sherfield Hill Farm with map
134A01/1 1894 Sale Sherfield Hill with 174 acres
134A01/2 1899 Farmland around Sherfield Hill for sale
134A01/3 1920 sale details in three lots, Sherfield Hall, Sherfield Hall Farm and gardener’s cottage
46M84/F82/1 1920 Sale details Sherfield Hall, with photographs and map
HPP 38/0722-0723 Photographs by Terry Hunt of Basingstoke
Berks Record Office
D/EHR/T52,52,55 H Lannoy Hunter archives
National Monument Record Office
1950 Aerial survey photographs
1979 Sale details, Lane Fox and Knight Frank
Maps
Old Hampshire Mapped: Martin and Jean Norgate: 2006
http://www.geog.port.ac.uk/webmap/hantsmap/hantsmap/hantsmap.htm
Multimap (maps and satellite): http://www.multimap.com/maps/
Ordnance Survey maps from HCC/HGT datasets
OS Explorer 2004 Sheet 144
Books
Grigg, A., 1946 The Story of Sherfield on Loddon, Basingstoke
Sims, D., nd. Reminiscences of Sherfield on Loddon,
Electronic Sources
Page, W. ed.1911 Victoria County History: A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4, pp.103-108
Sherfield on Loddon Paris http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid
The Times online:http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/0/1/1/purl=rc6_TTDA?sw_aep=hamlib
English Heritage: http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk
National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/A2A/
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council: www.basingstoke.gov.uk
www.basingstoke.gov.uk/planning/localplan/insetmaps.htm
Hampshire County Council: http://www3.hants.gov.uk
http://historicenvironment.hants.gov.uk/AHBSearch.aspx
Croudace: www.croudacestrategic.co.uk/success.aspx
Other sources
Press Cuttings Files at Basingstoke Public Library. Sherfield on Loddon
Personal Communications
Mr and Mrs G Smith of Sherfield Hall
Mr Bryan Gibson of the Gables
Mrs Janet Carter


Our address

Address:
Sherfield-on-Loddon No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
GPS:
51.30107585332671, -1.0411461223510514

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