|HCC Site ID:||1207||Parish:||Wolverton|
|Designations:||LB Grade 11*||Area:||280 acres|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Wolverton lies 6.6 miles north west of Basingstoke, and 2 miles south east of Kingsclere.
It was recorded as Ulvretune in 1086 meaning Wulfhere’s farm –or possibly derived from Alvred the priest who held Wolverton of Wiliam 1st at the time of the Domesday Survey. In 1165, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine wife of Henry 11 stayed at Wolverton during her husband’s absence in Normandy. The pipe rolls record the presence of a deer park. In 1215 King John granted the manor to Peter Fitz Herbert and it remained in this family until the mid 15th century, during which tenure the park – an area just over a mile long and one third of a mile wide was enclosed – the pale (indicated on Taylors map 1759) may have been installed during this time. The inquisition to the death of Reginald Fiz Peter in 1280 indicates that the park was stocked with deer at that time. In 1440, Wolverton was transferred to the Manor of Manydown.
In 1717 St. Catherine Church was rebuilt on site of earlier church. Red brick structure with stone dressings. Believed to have been designed by a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren and according to Pevsner, is the best example of an early Georgian church in Hampshire. It stands above the house on Crabs Hill, in typical close relationship with the mansion house.
In 1782 Charles Van Notten, bought the property, and In 1810 an unknown artist drew a sketch of a folly built in the plantation. He was succeeded 1813 by his son Sir Peter Pole, During the 1820s the wings were added to the manor house to form symmetrical U-shaped block. An extensive walled garden was built and a lake created. The Ice house may have been built at this time – its location shown on the 19th century OS maps.
In 1837 the manor was sold to Arthur Wellesley first Duke of Wellington, and for over 100 years it remained part of the Wellington estate. During World War II, it was commandeered as an army headquarters, until 1943 when the whole estate including Ewhurst estate was broken up, and Wolverton Park including 283 acres was sold to Mrs H Andreae of Moundsmere House Preston Candover. In 1959 it was acquired by T.S. Astell Hohler. The current owner is Isabelle Astell Countess of Errol.
The present park extends for approximately 280 acres, of parkland, farmland, woodland, pleasure gardens, kitchen gardens, swimming pool and numerous outbuildings. The main access is from the western lodge gate, and the layout of drives remain on original lines. The terrace at the front of the house has been extended in the 20th century, from a simple curved gravel terrace into a wide grass terrace with a circular central portion. Formal hedges bound the upper edge of the terrace with a cattle grid separating it from the pasture (1962 OS 1250 map). The grounds consist of courtyard gardens to the south east of the house and a curved lawn contained by the entrance drive to the north east. The south east sloping kitchen gardens containing a number of glass houses enclosed by a fine curved wall. The outbuildings are extensive with a fine clock tower.
The house stands on a small south west facing promontory overlooking the grazed parkland and wider agricultural landscape – an embankment crossing the park is the relict of the pale retaining the the dam of the fish pond which drains into a stream flowing north east along the southern boundary of the kitchen gardens. The park is grazed, and the wider parkland is cultivated for arable crops.
Wolverton House is a Grade 11* listed Georgian building scheduled in the county records (AHBR)
Remnants of the park pale occur along the Ramsdell Road boundary, and within the parlk following the public footpath across the eastern end of the lower Fish Pond below the house. A further portion of the pale is indicated on the eastern boundary of Baldwins Copse at the northern end of the park. The fish ponds are part of a system of ponds and streams running through the estate from Spicer’s Pond feeding into Baughurst pond to the north and beyond. The park lies just outside the North Hampshire Downs AONB.
The estate is of significance in that it was a Royal Park, and identified in the Pipe rolls as furnishing the royal table with venison. Substantial sections of the enclosing pale are present.
Wolverton Park retains many of the features of an 18th century parkland landscape designed to enhance a grand mansion house, including parkland, an extensive walled kitchen garden, pleasure grounds & garden, and the remains of the Ice House – renovated in recent times.
Wolverton Estate has close connections with Arthur Wellesley – the 1st Duke of Wellington and with the duchy since 1837 until the break-up of the estate in 1943.
Landscape Planning Status :
SSSI The Holt
SINC Baughurst Brook
TPO Yes by Middle Lodge
Ancient Woodland Inventory Map 26: Woods form the visual boundary of the property to the north and Wolverton Common is identified as a site with Ancient Woodland intact.
Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: October 2009
Click here to British Listed Building record for this location