|HCC Site ID:||1227||Parish:||East Woodhay|
|Designations:||LB Grade II||Area:||90 acres|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
Woolton House park lies in the north east of the Basingstoke and Deane borough, between two watercourses that feed into the Bourne river, and is part of the green belt extending up to the parkland at Malverleys, and east End, separating Woolton Hill development pressures from the same pressures at Ball Hill.
The area around Woodhay and the Cleres was part of a vast royal hunting forest which probably accounts for the pattern of settlement, with small hamlets set in forest clearings. The Manor of East Woodhay was the property of the ‘See’ of Winchester (ie the official seat – sedes- of a bishop) and confirmed by Edward I in 1284. In 1648 East Woodhay was included in the sale of the bishop’s lands, the manor purchased by James Storey and the manor house and land by John Goddard and Tichborne Long. On the restoration of Charles II the manor was restored to the bishopric. Eventually the whole estate was acquired by the Earl of Carnarvon.
The original 18th century house was a rectangular 3-storey block with its main front facing north east. The Grade 11 building (listed in 1995), was remodelled and extended in the 1930s. The mansion house now faces south west across a wide expanse of parkland with long views up to Farm Copse and south towards Woolton Hill. Access to the park, has changed in recent times. Today the main driveway crosses the grazed land to the north west, joining the original drive across the lawns beside the old pond. A serpentine path encirles the lawn, joining the service drive to the walled gardens and production areas from Fullers Lane.
The formal pleasure gardens to the south consist of a large grass terrace contained by a retaining wall, leading up to a long grass plat. Access into the potager is through a formal garden contained by evergreen hedges and the gate in the high kitchen garden wall. Garden buildings and walls contain the unusual shaped kitchen garden.
In May 2004 the owner of Woolton House commissioned Pascal Cribier, a French designer, to create a new design for the garden inspired by the artist Mondrian. The garden is described in an article from The Times June 12, 2004
Elements within the gardens include:
. open parkland with mature tree planting of ornamental deciduous species
. grass plats (bowling green?)
. formal garden with herbaceous borders
. potager used as extension of ornamental gardens with espaliered fruit trees snd dramatic herbaceous planting
. extensive range of glass houses and garden buiildings
18th century landscape park, gardens and grounds forming a setting to the listed 18C house. The pleasure grounds have been recently enhanced by a dramatic flower garden in the walled kitchen garden.
20th century garden in a traditional setting, designed by an important European designer Pascal Cribier for a discerning client.
Landscape Planning Status:
North Wessex Downs: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Farm Copse: Ancient semi-natural woodland.
Research: EM Consultants for Basingstoke & Deane: November 2009