|HCC Site ID:||1663||Parish:||St Faiths Ward Havant|
|Designations:||House LB II, CA, TPOs||Area:|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private residences|
Location and site
Wade Court is located to the east of Portsmouth and immediately south of Havant, close to the shoreline and to the mud flats and narrow channel that separates Hayling Island from the mainland, and links Langstone Harbour and Emsworth Channel. The low lying site has a distributory of the Lymbourne stream on its western side which has historically supplied water to fish ponds and ornamental ponds on the estate. The A27 trunk road which bypasses Havant was constructed across the northern part of the earlier estate.
The first mention of Wade Court is to be found in the Domesday Book when it was probably part of the manor of Warblington (VCH 1908, 124). At the beginning of the 19th century a larger house, and many outbuildings were built, and a channel was constructed from the Lymbourne stream to form a fishpond (Parish map 1833). It was between 1833 and 1840 that Wade Farm became Wade Court. The estate was put up for auction in 1840 (Hampshire Telegraph) when it consisted of a thin rectangular parcel of land, amounting to about 103 acres (42 hectares), between the Lymbourne stream in the east, Pook Lane to the west, the A27 road to the north, and the shoreline to the south. Between the late 19th and early 20th century Marshall Nesbitt Inman, the owner of Wade Court, purchased additional land to the west of Lymbourne stream, and landscaped the area in the Japanese style providing an ornamental waterway, with paths, ponds, bridges, a folly and a boathouse. Many trees were planted on the rest of the estate, and Parkland was noted first to the north, and then west of the newly built Wade Farm (OS 1909, 25”). Two lodges were constructed at different times (Kent et al 1994). In 1912, the estate was again put up for sale (HRO 117M91/SP183) Inman retained the farm and outbuildings but sold the rest. After he died, W E S Sotheby acquired the farm in the 1920’s, and eventually purchased Wade Court (Kent et al 1994). He also built an observatory near the shoreline. The farm was sold in 1939. It is believed that Wade Court was requisitioned during World War 2. Between 1952 and 1954, when the estate was again split, Wade Court was divided into three separate properties – Wade Court West, East and the Tower – each having a portion of the garden. The adjoining properties, the Cottage and Granary came under separate ownerships (Owner 2007).
In 1965, the Havant Bypass dissected the late 19th century estate, and the northern lodge was demolished. Recent extensions to the bypass have made further inroads, although the estate still retains its parkland character. Lymbourne pond is now to the north of the road. In 1985, part of the area between Wade Court Road and the Lymbourne stream was designated a Conservation Area, and many of its trees are protected by preservation orders. The land to the south, between the main dwellings and the shore, is now referred to as Wade Court Park.
Wade Court West was acquired by the present owners in 2004, who since 2006 have been restoring the Japanese and Italian styled gardens and ornamental lake which had become extremely overgrown and neglected. The pond in the Japanese garden had silted, the Italian style garden and the meadow were overgrown and many trees had self-sown in the pond and lake and were more than 40 feet high. During the excavations of the lake and pond, remnants of the boathouse and part of a Japanese stone lantern were found, and a system of weirs and lock gates were revealed in the man-made channels. A rose garden with a rose pergola has been restored, the Italian garden and the meadow area have been reseeded, the walls around the Japanese garden rebuilt and additional steps added. The folly on one of the small islands in the lake is now accessible, and the channels have been cleared to allow the stream water to enter the gardens and exit as originally designed to do. Restoraion is ongoing.
Originally a late nineteenth and early twentieth century landscaped park with ornamental waterways. The Havant Bypass occupies the northern part of the parkland, which still retains some character and features of the original park. The southwest ornamental garden area following the Lymbourne stream has recently undergone extensive renovation after many years of neglect. Rose, Japanese and Italian style gardens were found and are in the process of being re-created. The ornamental lake and channels are once again being restored to their former glory. It is a designated Conservation area.
HGT Research: March 2001, updated July 2008
Hampshire Record Office (HRO)
117M91/SP183 Sales Notice, 1912
Ordnance Survey: 3rd ed. 25” & 6” 1909, Hampshire County Council
Parish Map 1833, Hampshire County Council file (source unknown)
Hampshire Telegraph, 9 November 1840, Auction notice of Wade Court Estate, Portsmouth City Library, p. 3
Kent, J., Knight, J. and Morley J. 1994, The Story of Wade Court, Hampshire Magazine, July, pp. 51-55 Owner 2007, Information supplied on a Hampshire Gardens Trust Research Group visit in April
The Victoria County History of Hampshire (VCH), 1908, Page, W. (ed.), III, London, pp. 122-125