Upper Farm

You are here Home  > Lost Historic sites >  Upper Farm
Item image

HCC Site ID: 1918 Parish: Headbourne Worthy
Designations: Farmhouse LB II Area: Small
Access: Historic site Ownership: Private

Location and Site

Upper Farm is situated close to the railway in Headbourne Worthy and is just over two miles north of Winchester.

Historic Development

Not many features of note for Upper Farm are shown on the 2nd and 3rd ed OS maps (1897 and 1909). It was owned in the early part of the 20th century by Bernard Martin, a large-scale farmer at Headbourne Worthy. Martin was also the owner of a monthly garden periodical, My Garden Illustrated. He came to know Percy Cane who though working at that time for the Board of Agriculture was becoming more and more interested in the design of gardens. Martin’s wife, Kathleen, was the horticulturist of the two and one day when they were about to go away, she rang Percy Cane to ask if he would care to come and alter anything in their garden that he felt needed changing. Cane promptly altered half the entire garden. On their return, Cane asked Kathleen if she liked what she saw and was told that she didn’t know but she did know that the other half must be similarly altered the following autumn. (reported in Percy CaneGarden Designer by Ronald Webber).
Cane wrote articles for My Gardening Illustrated and then became its editor. By 1919, it was a difficult time to run a gardening magazine dealing with the ornamental side of horticulture and Cane agreed to buy the magazine from Bernard Martin. Cane went on to become one of the renowned garden designers of the 20th century. He also wrote for Garden Design and in an issue of 1932, not only writes about the garden in Headbourne Worthy but includes several photographs of the Rose Garden, Pergola and the Flower Walk leading to the tennis court. He writes that ‘…before the gardens were altered they were divided into too many parts without definite cohesion and there was no principal way through them. There was a rose garden, with beds divided by narrow paths and there were a lot of herbaceous flowers but little space in which to see them.’ In the alterations, Cane made a grass path with brick edged steps at intervals to suit the slope, wide colourful borders on each side; at the higher end was a roomy thatched arbour with a grass walk. Coming back from the top a wide path by the summerhouse leading into a pergola, down three steps and into the rose garden giving changing interest through the gardens.

Current Description

It has not been possible to view the garden but from aerial views, it would seem that only a faint outline of Cane’s design is to be seen although the pergola appears still to be there.


Garden redesigned by Percy Cane in the early 20th century to create space and views by the use of steps, arbour and grass walk, a pergola and steps to give changing interest throughout. Little remain of Cane’s redesign.

Information: compiled 2004

Percy Cane: Garden Designer Webber, R, 1975
Garden Design Cane, P

Our address

Headbourne Worthy Historic site Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.089197287929494, -1.3110852241516113

Comments are closed.