|HCC Site ID:||1660||Parish:||Warblington|
|Designations:||LB II||Area:||6.07 ha|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Offices/ Snell and Wilcox|
Location and site
Southleigh Park House is situated to the south of Southleigh Forest and the foot of the South Downs. The house and gardens are now confined to an area between Horndean Road to the east, Bastone Road to the north, Eastleigh Road to the west and overlook their former parkland and Emsworth to the south.
The estate, known in 1820 as Woodlands, was then a dairy farm. It was bought by Mr. Charles Short, who converted the house into a mansion, the front of which was of galleted flint and castellated, facing south to command a view over the sea. Extensive gardens were made, including glasshouses in 2 kitchen gardens, and ornamental woods, screening the house from the road. The farm was separate from the house. In the 1839 sales particulars, the estate had grown to 160 acres (65ha). By 1889, the estate, known now as Southleigh, had been embellished with more ornamental planting. A small lake at the front of the house punctuated the view over a park. A lodge had been built at the NE corner of the estate, and a carriage way round to the entrance on the east wing had been established. The farm, known as Woodlands Farm, had been moved away from house and gardens.
In 1903 the estate, now 360 acres (147.7ha),including cottages and farms, owned by the White family, was viable enough to survive as a working unit until 1968, when the estate was sold to the Plessey Company. A new entrance was cut from the Eastleigh Road and the kitchen gardens became a car park. A modern office block was built in the same area. In 1994/5 the estate, covering c 6.07ha (15 acres), became the property of Snell & Wilcox. The company has the intention of making the estate the World Headquarters of the business.
The house overlooks what was the park, including several large oak trees, and is now grazing for Southleigh Farm. The house and clock tower have been restored and the lodge is in the process of restoration. The pond has been dredged and restocked with fish and the planting around it cleared. The model dairy still exists. There is the intention of cutting a new entrance from the Eastleigh Road, with a projected carriage sweep round the front of the house to the impressive front entrance at the east wing. Although there is little left of the original planting, there is an enormous laurel bush covering an area of c5 by 5m, with very thick intertwined branches.
Mid Victorian mansion with clock tower, kitchen garden, model dairy, stables, lake and parkland. Redeveloped in the late 1960s for office accommodation with a new entrance from the Eastleigh Road, and the addition of a modern office block. The kitchen garden became a car park. The parkland is now grazing for Southleigh Farm.
HGT Research: June 2001