|HCC Site ID:||1902||Parish:||Itchen Valley|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Shroner Wood is reached down a long lime avenue on the eastern side of the A33 Winchester to Basingstoke road approximately five miles north east of Winchester. It is mainly woodland.
Shroner Wood was an area of native woodland in the 18th century. Early in the 19th century it was identified on the first series O.S. map as Shroner Copse with a building to the west. The Greenwood map (1826) noted the building as Shroner Cottage, and the Copse as Shroner Wood. Although the area was not tithed, the awards of 1841 list the owner and occupier of the Cottage and Shroner Wood as Richard Bailey. The wood was 81 acres (32.8 ha) the rest totalled 112 acres (45.3 ha). The award map shows the wood dissected by two paths approximately north to south and east to west. In 1871, Edwin Hillier, grandfather of Sir Harold, bought the property. Edward Hillier’s son, Edwin Lawrence , created Shroner Wood into a Pinetum in the late 1890s and early 20th century, which is said to have been ‘the most complete collection of its day’. A number of pines originated at the Shroner Wood Nursery. Edwin Lawrence also planted a range of fruit trees between 1895 and 1901. The second and third editions of the Ordnance Survey maps note the Nurseries, the planting of belts of trees around the cottage, Nursery, and west to the adjoining land; the paths orientated as on the earlier tithe map. In the 3rd edition a Nursery is also noted within the Wood. In 1913 Edwin Hillier sold the 48.5 ha (120 acre) site. About 5 years later it was observed that some timber had been felled and sold.
In the 1980s the owner of the estate developed the area around the house into a park and planted a new lime avenue leading from the A33. The arboretum was opened to the public for the first time in 1992 when it was advertised as ‘A collection of rare, mature conifers and beautiful flowering shrubs set in a bluebell wood. The six acre arboretum as been continuously developed since 1871’.
The wood has rhododendrons and azaleas and formal flower gardens have been created round the house
The M3 and the Winchester Service Station now occupy part of the southeast boundary.
Late 19th century arboretum planted and owned by a member of the Hillier family until 1913; subsequent owners have continued to develop and maintain the woodland. The area around the original cottage is now parkland and gardens.
Not open to the public.
HGT Research: September 2003