|HCC Site ID:||1972||Parish:||West End|
|Designations:||Area:|| Originally 98.3 ha (243 acres) ;
now c 0.81 ha (2 acres)
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Wedding venue, private|
Location and Site
Winslowe House is situated just off Quob Lane, a narrow winding road which links West End with Allington Lane. It is approached along an unadopted road and stands prominently on a ridge of high ground surrounded by farmland, with views of Portsdown Hill to the east, and of the downs beyond Winchester to the north-west (Winslowe House website).
Winslowe House was built in 1847 by George Henry Gater, a solicitor and member of a prominent local West End family. It is a well-proportioned country house of buff brick.
The South Stoneham Tithe map of 1845 shows the track leading to Moorgreen Farm. The site of the house is described as a wood belonging to Edward Gater whilst the surrounding land is owned by a William Hallett and occupied by William Gosling (WELHS online).
The OS 1st ed. 1810 map (edited c.1855) shows Winslowe Coppice to the south of the Portsmouth and Gosport railway line. The house is not shown (OHM). The OS 1st ed. 25″ 1868-72 map shows the house, with outbuildings and a walled garden to the north, surrounded by about 4 acres ( 1.62 ha.) of grounds which are planted with mainly coniferous and several deciduous trees. A lodge on Quob Lane marks the entrance to the estate, from which a winding drive leads to Winslowe House and on to Moorgreen Farm beyond (HRO 137M90/17).
The OS 3rd ed. 1910 shows little change (HRO).
During the Second World War, parts of the estate housed a military camp, which was subsequently “squatted” after the war by families desperate for housing (WELHS 2005 online).
The estate remained in the possession of the Gater family until 1945, when it was put up for sale “by the executors of WH Gater Esq. deceased”. The sales map shows an estate of over 243 acres ( 98.3 ha.), divided into 11 lots, and includes Moorgreen Farm and land to the north, south, east and west of Winslowe House. It was described by the auctioneers Waller & King of Southampton as a “Gentleman’s Georgian Style Residence” with nine bedrooms, four receptions, stabling and garages; “grounds have been laid out as lawn, flower beds interspersed with natural shrubbery walks, wood and other ornamental coniferae and forest trees” as well as walled kitchen gardens (HRO 157M89W/219).
Two years later in 1947 it was again put up for auction, this time by Fox & Sons of Southampton, with the estate being similarly described and divided up. The description includes “attractive grounds and shrubberies,…garage, stabling, orchard, walled garden, chauffeur’s cottage” ( HRO 157M89W/220); the present owner, Terry Curtis, thinks it was either not put up for sale or not sold in 1945 (site visit July 2012).
There followed a succession of owners, including a doctor and a businessman-cum-fraudster who sold the house quickly to realise his assets before fleeing to Algeria, according to Mr. Curtis, who bought the property about 2005.
Today, Winslowe House is a wedding and conference venue, set in grounds of over two acres. South Lodge still stands guard at the entrance to the now tarmac drive, lined principally with rhododendrons and probably self-sown trees, especially sycamore. After a left turning to Winslowe House, the drive continues to the cottage, possibly the former chauffeur’s house, and the remains of the walled garden beyond, which now houses a tennis court. The grounds of Winslowe House are mainly laid to lawn with a shrub border behind. In front of the house stands the landmark Monkey Puzzle tree which can be seen from miles around, but which is now ailing: apparently it has grown so large (2012) that its roots have reached the water table, and it is likely that it will soon be felled. There are fine specimens of mature trees bounding the garden, in particular sweet chestnut, yew, holly, holm oak, beech, horse chestnut, and a deeply-lobed leaved oak, probably a red oak (Quercus rubra) (site visit July 2012 + Bing map online 2012)
A mid-19th century house in an estate of once 98.3 ha, grounds with specimen trees, walled garden, herbaceous and shrub borders. Now a wedding venue with about 0.81 ha. A large Auracaria is distressed (2012) other specimen trees remain.
Partial HGT Research: 2012