|HCC Site ID:||1469||Parish:||Wherwell|
|Designations:|| Priory & Stables LB II*;
Lodges, wall, Gatepiers LB II
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Wherwell Priory is south-east of Andover, bordering the village of Wherwell, the site enclosed by carriers of the river Test.
Wherwell Abbey was a Benedictine Nunnery founded in 986 by Queen Elfrida. In 1141 the nuns were driven out and the Abbey destroyed by fire but in 1227, the Abbess Euphemia rebuilt the Abbey and diverted a carrier of the River Test under the Abbey. The Barn, formerly the Stables, dates from the 13th century. The Abbey flourished under many Abbesses until the Dissolution in 1540, after which it was granted to Lord de la Warr whose family owned it until 1695. It was then sold to Edmund Boulter who died in 1709 when it passed to his nephew then through his daughters until in 1742 the youngest daughter married Joshua Iremonger and it remained in their family until 1914.
The present house was built 1820-30, incorporating parts of older buildings. The main entrance had been to the east with an avenue leading to the Winchester road. About 1830 the Andover Lodge, a cottage ornée, was built and the main drive was re-located to the north to Andover Lodge passing over the River Test. The house’s main entrance now faces north. In the mid 19th century the octagonal East Lodge was built. The original gatepiers at both lodges still remain.
1st edition OS maps show a well-wooded parkland, especially near the house and church, a thick belt of trees on the eastern boundary and individual trees in the park. The River Test flows through the north of the park, a stream on the south boundary and a stream through the centre of the park which is diverted under the Abbey. There is a large, walled kitchen garden with several glasshouses and many other outbuildings. The kitchen and fruit gardens were very productive and in the glasshouses vines, peaches, melons, cucumbers and carnations were grown. Some of the ornamental and exotic trees remain in the park.
Since the Iremonger family sold in 1913, the estate has been privately owned.
In 1999, a survey noted that in front of the house there were ornamental and exotic trees including, Date, Plum, Locust and remains of hawthorns. There were massive copper beeches on the lawn to the rear of the house. The walled garden had brick and flint courses with later additions of brick only. Two glass houses were against a wall and there were two free-standing ones. The woodland walk was overgrown with box hedging, yews and broom. Other features include an arboretum, avenue of horse chestnuts, herbaceous borders, mounting block near the stables, dog graveyard, water garden, steps on slope and walkway along a water channel (HCC Register Review 1999). The 25″ OS landline map (2002) showed modern office buildings had been added and the entrance drive had moved to the lane at the western end of the village, north west of the Priory.
A small landscaped park on the River Test, on the site of Wherwell Abbey. The house incorporates parts of several older buildings and has a 13th century barn. Avenues lead to two 19th century lodges and there is a large walled kitchen garden. Many mature trees remain in the park.
HGT Research: May 2006; update June 2008
Hampshire Record Office
19M93/5/1, 4, 5 1913 Sales details
21M65/F7/252/1 2 Tithe map and awards
33M49/1 Map of the Manor of Wherwell belonging to Joshua Iremonger
Timmins G. ‘Wherwell: A Village History’
Hampshire County Council
HCC Register Review, 1999
1st ed. 25″ 6″ OS maps 1872 and 1874
25″ Landline map 2002