Twyford Moors

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HCC Site ID: 1585 Parish: Twyford
Designations: House LB II*, SDNP, SMR, SSSI Area: Garden 3.25 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Location and Site

Twyford Moors is situated to the south of Twyford village with views across the water meadows and the River Itchen. The village lies on the chalk at the northern edge of the Hampshire Basin and is in the South Downs National Park.

Historic Development

The house was built between 1861-62 by Conway Mordaunt Shipley, grandson of Jonathan Shipley of Twyford House to a design of Henry Woodyer. It was built of flint and brick on an east-west axis, with the west garden front facing the river. The east, or entrance front, is mainly Tudor in character with a series of gables of varying proportion, two of which are half-timbered with a striking tower (listed). There is a fine revival interior listed), including the hall, staircase and fireplaces richly decorated with exacting designs in oak, stone, marble and plaster. There was also a Lodge by Woodyer, a chapel, coach house and stables..
Conway Shipley died in 1888 but his widow lived there till 1933 dying at the age of 90. It then passed to Curtis Mordaunt Lea Shipley who opened it as a Country House Hotel in 1935. In 1936, the north wing was destroyed by fire, and rebuilt the following year. The ‘garden house’ was converted from the stables in 1947. The lodge is flint and brick below, with mock Tudor half-timbering above. The hotel ran only until the WWII. Curtis divorced but his wife, Carrie, continued to live there marrying a second time and becoming Mrs John Dykes. She continued to live there with her son, Robert Mordaunt Shipley until 1988. The estate was sold in 1989.
The 3.25 ha (8 acres) of formal gardens were originally laid out with a sunken ornamental rockery and grotto, a round garden centred on an ancient oak tree, parterres, topiary and rose garden, croquet and tennis lawn. It was reputed that about 12 ha (30 acres) of parkland were originally planted with two specimens of every known type of tree in Britain, giving a stunning landscape of mature trees with numerous copses, an avenue of broad leaf trees lines the entire length of the eastern boundary and countless specimen trees. There are also 500 yds of double bank fishing.
The 1st ed 25″ OS map (1869) shows extensive orchards to the north of the house with a cluster of small buildings to the west of the orchard; a short tree-lined avenue lies to the east,, back to the road, though there does not appear to be an entrance. The house at this point is called Twyford Moor House. The Lodge is marked at the only entrance, to the north of the property. By the 3rd ed, 6″ 1910, the OS map no longer shows the orchard  but the small buildings remain and a large square which was probably an unwalled (?) kitchen garden. A square garden area is also shown to the south of the house. On the 4th ed, 1937, glasshouses are shown by the small buildings to the north and a path leads north from the stables to a semi-circular tree-lined, possibly sitting area.  The garden from the west front is now a sunken lawn and the square area to the south has a central sun dial. What looks like a tennis court lies to the east of the square.
The house was sold several times from 2004-2012. A landscape assessment was prepared in 2009 but was not implemented.

Current Description

The sunken garden near the house has been redesigned without box hedging and there has been considerable replanting and replacement trees. The perimeter walk is still visible and the kitchen garden is used. There are plans to re-instate various parts of the gardens.


A mid-19th century house designed by Henry Woodyer. The gardens were originally 3.2ha, with 12 ha of parkland. Many specimen trees create a sweeping landscape view from the house, with 50 yds of fishing below. Several features including the landscape remain.

Information: 2012


Hampshire Record Office
1st ed OS map 1869 25″
3rd OS map 1910 6″
4th ed OS map 1937
RIBA Mss list
Hampshire Press 9 April 1861
Knight Frank Rutley sales catalogue

Our address

Twyford No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.00376376841667, -1.3212347030639648

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