|HCC Site ID.||1573||Parish:||Sparsholt|
|Designations:||None||Area:||Campus 176 ha; Farming 257 ha|
|Access:||Public Access to College||Ownership:||Sparsholt College|
Image of Westley House from Hampshire Educational Brochure 1899-1999 ed. by E Kenneth Griffith (HRO:H/ED1/4B/7)
Location and site
Sparsholt College is in the parish of Sparsholt which lies 3 miles WNW of Winchester. It is on rolling chalk downland. The soil varies from clay-with-flints to light chalk and its depth from several feet to a few inches. The garden site is approximately 115 m above sea level.
Westley Farm was previously owned and farmed by the Fitt family when it was described as 652 acres, 2 rods and 26 perches and listed as a superior residence. “8-bedroom house approached by carriage drive through lodge gates and park like pastures. Capital pleasure grounds, two tennis lawns, a sloping lawn, prettily laid out flower garden, 2 walled in kitchen gardens and stabling” and some farm buildings. (HRO 1892). By 1901 it was occupied by Mr George Twentyman. He was from a noted family of farmers in Hawkrigg, Cumberland. His father John Twentyman was one of the first three importers of Holstein Friesian cattle, he was also one of the promoters of Agricultural Colleges to use scientific education for farmers sons. (BG 1928) John’s son George was a well-known agriculturist and one of the promoters of the Milk Recording Society.(GC 1928)
Hampshire County Council had one of the first farm schools leased from Lord Bolton at Old Basing, Basingstoke but one problem experienced at Old Basing was the prevalence of game which was highly prized on the Bolton Estate. Unfortunately the raising of game and the running of critical experiments on the farm proved to be conflicting interests. The County Council ultimately decided to own and control its own land. Many of farms were viewed and eventually Westley Farm was selected (HRO Bro) and a major part of the holdings of the College were purchased in 1912. The sales particulars detail the pleasure lawns with ornamental shrubberies, two large kitchen gardens, one being partly walled in and 645 acres.
The site has totally changed with the expansion of the Sparsholt College. Westley Farmhouse has been demolished and replaced by a car park. The hard-surface tennis court to the south is still in existence. The grass area to the west is now used as a dog agility training area. The partially walled garden is no longer walled but surrounded by a hedge and used as the College Principal’s garden.
The original Westley Farmhouse was demolished and replaced by a car park. The footprintsof the three garden areas to the west of Westley Farmhouse are still in existence. One contains the principal’s house, one is the dog agility area and the central one which was the walled garden, now surrounded by the hedging is used as the Principal’s garden. A number of mature trees which would have formed part of the garden are still in existence. The lodge gate posts, which were located at the entrance to what is now Meadowbank, no longer survive.
Summary and Significance
The historical garden footprint is still in existence.
HGT Research: September 2018
HRO – Sale Particulars of Westley Estate 16 June 1892. 46m/84/F85/1
GC – Gloucester Citizen 20th April 1928 – Findmypast 29 Mar 2018
HRO Bro – Hampshire Agricultural Education, the First Sixty Years 1899-1999 Souvenir Brochure, ed. by E Kenneth Griffiths H/ED1/4B/7