|HCC Site ID:||1424||Parish:||Wonston|
|Designations:||CA, SMR||Area:||20.2 ha (50 acres)|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Nursing Home|
Location and Site
Sutton Manor is situated in Sutton Scotney village, to the south of the A30 road in the Dever Valley. The village is between six and seven miles north west of Winchester and is now bypassed by the A34 road between Winchester and Oxford. It is surrounded by pastoral farming.
The manor of Sutton was split into two from 1086 until 1545 when they were reunited under John Twyne Lord of the adjacent Norton manor. It passed through many changes of ownership in the 18th and 19th centuries until Major M R Courage (later Colonel) of the well-known brewery family became Lord of the Manor in 1905.
Though the last vestiges of the manorial system were swept away by Parliament in 1926 the owners of Sutton manor had considerable influence in the Parish in the 20th century.
At the time of Colonel Courage the estate comprised the Manor House which dated back to Queen Anne, various farms and village cottages and other properties totalling in all 2760 acres (1,117 ha).
In 1933 the estate was put up for sale and was bought by Mr J Arthur Rank, the film magnate. Rank had a zest for life and one of his hobbies was shooting, one of the features which appealed to him about Sutton Manor. The Sales Particulars explained that the game bag for 1930-31season, included some 2402 partridges. Rank added to the estate during and after the Second World War.
There were nine acres (3.6 ha) of gardens in which there were ornamental trees, a walled garden, lawns, terraces, glasshouses, a rose garden, kitchen garden and later a sunken tennis court and a swimming pool.
When Lord Rank died in 1972, the estate was partially broken up in order to pay death duties. The bulk of the agricultural land was sold to the Eagle Star Insurance Company. The Eagle Star Chairman, Sir Denis Mountain who lived at Shawford House, was also on the board of the Rank Organisation.
Lord Rank’s family stayed at Sutton Manor for a few years until it was sold to Mr and Mrs Tony Davies in 1978, who turned the complex of greenhouses and the walled garden into a herb farm. In 1981 the Manor changed hands again and was sold to Mr Alex Herbage who had a lavish lifestyle and owned many other estates. He started an ambitious renovation programme intending to create an Art Gallery and Sculpture Park which was opened to the public in 1983 with an extensive display of 20th century sculpture. The venture did not last long as Mr Herbage was charged with defrauding 3000 US investors of $38m. His assets were confiscated and sold.
Sutton Manor was acquired with 50 acres (20.2 ha) of grounds by its present owner Mrs Mary Cornelius-Reid. She opened a private nursing home in 1986. The Mews (formerly the Bothy) was converted into 12 self-contained flats and other sheltered accommodation has been built in the grounds. In 1995 a 99-year lease was granted to the Wessex Children’s Hospice Trust to build a Hospice in the grounds. It was built in 1996 and named ‘Naomi House’ after Mrs Cornelius-Reid’s younger daughter.
An ancient manor from the 11th century; a Queen Anne house which by the early 20th century had nine acres (3.6 ha) of ornamental gardens. A shooting estate with also at one time 2760 acres (1,117 ha). 1980s an ambitious Sculpture Park. 1986 reduced to 50 acres (20.2 ha) and a Nursing Home built. 1996 Naomi House also built in the grounds.
Taken from ‘Dever & Down: A History of the Parish of Wonston by Peter L Clarke published by Dever Publications 2002