|HCC Site ID:||1591||Parish:||West Meon|
|Designations:||House LB II, SDNP, SINC||Area:||Medium|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
West Meon House lies in the village of that name with the River Meon flowing through the north part of the estate. The village is approximately nine miles west of Petersfield and is within the South Downs National Park.
The house is part Tudor and part late Jacobean. In 1820 the house became a rectory when Archdeacon Bayley, Rector of West Meon, chose to live there. He enlarged and remodelled the house which stood in 20 acres of parkland. A map of 1884 shows that the Rectory had its own farm and corn mill on the River Meon. A large kitchen garden lay next to the farm. An estate plan of 1892 emphasises a tree belt along the road boundary and to the front of the house, giving privacy for the house from the road and the farm.
In 1919 the house ceased to be a rectory and was occupied by Major Waudby whose estate was then described as ‘15 acres of enclosed old world gardens and grounds’. However when the present owners, the Younger family, arrived Charlotte Younger described the garden as a blank canvas.
On a visit in 2008 it was noted that some features, such as the yew hedge bordering the drive, have been re-instated but there were ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the gardens. The house, front lawn and kitchen garden were being linked into one integrated design with a central walk bordered by ornamental trees. The changes will be most evident in the kitchen garden. It is planned to restore the traditional planting of vegetables and soft fruits. A start has been made by restoring the cold frames and greenhouse on their original sites. Because of the large size of the kitchen garden there is room to incorporate a variety of other features such as a croquet lawn, a modern lawn with classic evergreen shapes and even an area for free range chickens. A swimming pool has been discreetly built in one corner. The central walk, some hedging and espaliered fruit trees will define the different areas. There are features of the late 19th century garden in the river area with an small, stone ornamental bridge. Further research might reveal how this area was developed.
A Rectory in the 19th century with modest gardens, kitchen garden and working farm. Passed into lay hands in 1919. Gardens being recreated (2008) to a modern design and planting scheme by the wife of the present owner.
Information: October 2008