Tangley House

You are here Home  > Private Parks & Gardens >  Tangley House
Item image
HCC Site ID: 1487 Parish: Tangley
Designations: Area: c204ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Location and site

Tangley is situated in the north west of the County, close to the border with Wiltshire. The area is predominantly situated on a clay and flint plateau and is characterized partly by woodland (Doles and Tangley Woods) and partly by arable fields. The Test Valley Local Character Assessment describes: Limited 19th century parliamentary enclosure is visible to the west of the Roman Road associated with the post-1810 Tangley Park, which probably had a considerable influence over the development of the landscape.

Historic development

Tangley is mentioned in the Doomsday book as part of the manor of Faccombe, but in the 13th century was detached as a separate manor. The shape of the future Tangley Park is visible on both the 1810 OS 1” map and the Greenwood map, 1826, with a rectangular belt of trees to the west of what were then fields. Both the 1” map and the Greenwood map notes a Tangley Ho in the NE corner of the site, as well as a few dwellings in the NW corner of the site The Tithe map and apportionment, 1838, indicate a house, pasture and garden in the NE of the site (later Upper Green Farm), as well the dwellings in the NW corner. It further notes the rectangular belt of trees to the west. The manor and land passed through a number of families including the Reverend Charles Everett of Faccombe in the mid-19th century, finally being purchased in the 1880s by Henry Merceron, who continued to acquire land for the estate. Henry lived in Upper Green Farm building and created gardens and planted many trees. Parkland is shown on the 1st and 2nd ed OS maps, with, in particular, the rectangular belt of trees which is first noted on the 1810, 1” OS  and Greenwood maps.

Francis Merceron inherited in 1905 by which time the estate had grown to 1800 acres. He built Tangley house in 1912, employing Rupert Austin, an Australian, as architect. The new house was sited just south of Upper Green Farm with a view over the whole parkland. The house was featured in the Studio Magazine (1912) with the drawn plan of house and gardens but the design was not fully completed as designed, due to lack of funds. However, the walled garden was created (Building plans HRO) but it is doubtful that all the landscaping shown in the illustration was ever carried out. The Studio Magazine article notes that the house was built to make best use of the wonderful views over the parkland to the countryside. Three tree-lined entrance avenues were created at this time, from the west, the north and a main curved avenue from the east.  Francis had financial problems and by 1912, the land was reduced to 855 acres. Further land was sold off over the ensuing years.

The house was sold in 1946 to Mr and Mrs Smith-Pearse, who sub-divided it into flats and used the walled garden to grow and sell vegetables. Upper Green Farm became known as the Old House and was lived in by Mrs Smith-Pearse’s brother.

By now with only five acres of land, the house was sold again in 1960 to Mr and Mrs Colvin and again became a single occupancy, family home. The Colvins increased the size of the estate considerably  by buying and exchanging land, changing the direction of the drive from the east and making a ha-ha to separate the garden from the parkland, where the cows grazed.  Borders were made and a rose garden was taken out and replaced by a pond garden. No records were found of any professional consultation, although Mr. Colvin was artistic and may have had informal advice from friends. Michael Colvin became the local MP in 1968. The house was tragically burnt down in 2000 and Mr and Mrs Colvin died in the fire.

A watching brief and archaeological assessment was carried out in 2003 but no significant features or deposits were observed and the house remained a burnt-out shell until the estate was purchased from the Cazer-Colvin family in 2004 by Harry and the Hon Dinah Marriott. Planning consent was granted to rebuild a house more or less on the same footprint.

The new house is of similar size but completely different design. The architect was Barry Bowhill but the Marriotts, both being designers, had a significant impact on the design which is Georgian in character but with one semi-circular colononnade to the front. The pediment to the south was hand carved by Will and Lotte O’Leary who were involved in the restoration of Uppark after its fire damage.

Current Description

The Marriots made improvements to the gardens, several new ponds and increased area of lawns, with enrichment of the woods – an area of 14.2 ha (35 acres) has been planted with over 100,000 trees. The walled kitchen garden has been restored to its former glory; mixed hedges planted, and post and rail fencing placed around the back. Upper Green Farm is now known as Upper Farm (description in an update from Mr H Marriott, 2008).

An external site visit, 2015, noted that the three entrance avenues put in by Francis Merceron are all closed off. (These could have all been closed off by the Colvins). The current entrance drive is further south on the eastern side, however the western and northern avenues are clearly visible. The curved avenue from the east is rather overgrown. The farm and its buildings form part of the Tangley Estate, as does the old Upper Green House. The rectangular wooded area to the west as well as the tree-lined avenue from the road on the western side are also still notable.

East Garden

East Garden

Summary and significance

The first Tangley House was built in 1911 in already established parkland. Gardens developed by Francis Merceron and later by Michael Colvin. House burnt down, 2000, and replaced 2005 by a new design. The woodland, gardens and 1-acre walled garden were substantially enhanced in the following years. The village lies to the NE corner of the current parkland which featured in early maps, and commands views out, thus playing a significant role in the countryside.

HGT Research: February 2007, updated August 2008 and July 2015


1” OS map, 1801 (http://www.geog.port.ac.uk/webmap/hantsmap Old Hampshire Mapped)
Greenwood, 1826 (Old Hampshire Mapped)
1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th ed OS maps, 1872, 1895, 1911 and 1926 HCC
Hampshire Record Office
Estate map 1924  46M84/12/57
Sales Particulars, 1961  93M92/E75
Records of Barker, Son & Isherwood, Solicitors 46M84/c12 Vol 2
Tithe map and apportionment, 1838 21M65/F7/230/1 & 2
Hampshire County County
Thames Valley Archaelogical Services Report
Test Valley Planning Dept
Planning submissions
Carson E, Tangley, Hatherden & Wildhern, pub Tangley Parish Council, 2001
Cobbett W, Rural Rides, p291, Penguin, 1973
Page W, Victoria County History, (1911) Vol 4, p326, Hampshire Record Office
Studio Magazine, 1912 – RIBA Library
Timmins G, The History of Tangley

Our address

Tangley No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.27139002625613, -1.5341484546661377

Comments are closed.