Elms, The

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HCC Site ID: 1647 Parish: prev Bedhampton
Designations: House LB II*, CA Area: c2 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Residential Home for the Elderly/
Manor House Charitable Trust

Location and site

The Elms lies on a curve of the road through old Bedhampton, facing east and appearing just as it must have done in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is equidistant from Bedhampton Hill Road to the north west and the railway line to the south east and is within a residential area.

Historic development

The house, of outstanding appearance and reminiscent of Strawberry Hill at Twickenham, is an enlargement of a 16th-17th century house, and was apparently gothicised in the 18th century. The north wing has at its angle a three-storeyed stuccoed castellated tower in a Gothic style with a large room decorated, according to the Images of England listing, ‘with four Ionic columns at the north (short) side supporting an entablature which continues round the room as a decorative frieze with Greek ornament. Above there is coving up to a flat ceiling which has in the centre an octagonal opening, again with coving to the base of the top light.’ This room has been restored by the present owners. It is believed by some, that this room was erected by Sir John Theophilus Lee to entertain his relative the Duke of Wellington.
The rear garden, most likely designed during the 18th century, had an elm avenue leading to a grotto and a temple, with views over the Solent. The area was surrounded with woodland and pasture. Successive owners maintained the garden, without alteration until the 20th century when land became more valuable as potential development.

Current description

Most of that land has now been developed and there remains only a fairly small garden to the rear with one ancient tree remaining. Facing east, the house, maintained as illustrations show it to have been from the 19th century, still provides an interesting focal point in the village. Successive owners have valued and maintained its appearance. An old wall remains on the north side separating the house from what were the stables, now a Nursing Home. There remains a lawn at the rear with a few fruit trees and some planting, bordered on the south by part of an old wall. The small, front garden following the curve of the road, is attractive with two trees, one ancient and one fairly recently planted, which frame the house. Besides two small lengths of wall, the circular carriage way survives, as do the two entrances, the carriage entry with piers surmounted by pineapples, both restored.

Summary

Enlargement of a 16-17 century house, gothicised in the 18th century; rear garden designed at that time, with elm avenue leading to a grotto and temple; views over Solent. Land sold off for development, small rear and front garden remain. Remnants of old walls, 2 entrances, restored gate piers with pineapples. Grade II*, owned by Bedhampton Charitable Trust. It is within Bedhampton Conservation Area.

HGT Research: February 2004


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Bedhampton No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
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