Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1000865
Date first listed: 31-May-1984
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)
Parish: Preston Candover
National Grid Reference: SU 62531 43215
Formal gardens, pleasure grounds, and walled kitchen gardens laid out in 1908-09 around a new country house, all by Sir Reginald Blomfield, and further developed in the 1930s.
Between 1908 and 1909 a new house was built for Wilfred Buckley, a general merchant, by Sir Reginald Blomfield (1856-1942), architect and author of The Formal Garden in England (1892). The 1st (1875) and 2nd (1897) editions of the OS map show that prior to the new work, open fields lay to the south of Moundsmere Manor Farm with its early C17 farmhouse. By the 3rd edition (1910-11), the house had been built and the gardens laid out by Blomfield, set within farmland with open views. The completed work was featured in Country Life in March of that year (CL 1910). In the 1930s a pinetum was laid out to the north of the formal gardens and east of the house. In the late C20 the wings of the house were reduced in length and a swimming pool and tennis courts were introduced into the gardens, but otherwise there have been few alterations since the early C20. Moundsmere Manor has been described as 'probably the best surviving example of a complete new house and garden by Blomfield' (Ottewill 1989). The site remains (2000) in private ownership.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Moundsmere Manor, c 14ha, is located 6km south of Basingstoke. It is bounded by Inham's Copse with open farmland beyond to the north-west, open farmland to the west and south, Moundsmere Manor Farm to the north, and Cannon Wood beyond open ground to the north-east and east. Moundsmere Manor stands on a natural plateau and the ground is level, with sloping land beyond the (registered) boundary to the north and south, giving good views from the house and gardens over the Candover valley to the south. The boundaries are marked by a mixture of walls, sunken ha-ha walls, and fences.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The approach to the house is from the west by the B3046, from where a drive (outside the boundary of the area registered here) leads through entrance gates and a pair of lodges and then east for c 1.5km. The final 0.5km of the drive (within the boundary of the area registered here) is along a beech and sycamore avenue, the first 200m of which is backed to the north by Inham's Copse. The final section is lined by yew hedges and leads to an entrance forecourt on the north side of the house, enclosed by high yew hedges.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING Moundsmere Manor (listed grade II*) is built in red brick with stone dressings and has two storeys with an attic. The central bay on the south front is supported by four giant Tuscan pilasters and on this side the attic storey has bull's-eye windows with swags around them. The entrance front on the north side has projecting wings, originally far-projecting but reduced in length in the late C20. Blomfield modelled the house on Wren's work at Hampton Court.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The garden is entered from the entrance forecourt through the yew hedge and past a large Dawyck beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck'), to a small garden planted with Kurume azaleas. To the south of this is a formal garden enclosed by yew hedges on the west side of the house. The garden has a pillared garden house on the north side and a swimming pool in the centre, built in the late C20 and replacing a simple layout of four corner rose beds around a central font. A path leads through the hedge on the south side of the garden and into the gardens to the south of the house.
Two main axial walks of c 260m run west to east, one running along the garden (south) front, and the other running parallel c 50m to the south. The eastern ends of both walks are lined by pairs of clipped yew trees and terminate at the kitchen garden at their eastern ends. The northern walk was formerly terminated at the west end by a pavilion (moved early C20 to the circular rose garden) but is now open, with views out to the farmland beyond a gate. To south of this walk are mature specimen trees, including fine Brewer's weeping spruce (Picea breweriana) and mature cedars (Cedrus libani, deodara and atlantica). The south side of the southern walk is defined by a retaining wall and ha-ha. Centred on the south front is a semicircular viewing platform which extends to the south of the ha-ha and gives views south across the farmland and over the Candover valley. The font from the garden by the west front was positioned on the viewing platform in the late C20. Between the two walks are two formal gardens: a sunken canal garden to the west, aligned on the south front of the house, and a formal rose garden to the east. The sunken garden is approached by central curving steps at the north and south ends and has an extended oval-shaped canal orientated north to south through the centre. The canal is set in a lawn and flanked by formal rose beds and, at the higher level, parallel lines of clipped yews. To the west and east of the clipped yews are clipped yew hedges, broken by yew bastions which form deep herbaceous borders. To the east of this garden lies the formal rose garden consisting of a circle of rose beds around a well-head. An outer circle of rose beds was removed in the late C20 and the pavilion from the west end of the north walk was moved to the east side of the rose garden in the early C20. To the east of the rose garden is a late C20 tennis court, which replaced a grass court. The west wall of the kitchen garden lies to the east of the tennis court.
To the north of the rose garden and tennis court is a pinetum, planted in the 1930s and backed to the north by old beech woodland. In addition to rare pines there are further Brewer's weeping spruce and fine deciduous trees including field maple and fastigiate hornbeam. A path winds westwards through the pinetum and leads back to an entrance through the yew hedge on the east side of the entrance forecourt.
KITCHEN GARDEN The walled kitchen garden is laid to lawn with a perimeter path and cross-paths through the centre. It is entered through two large entrance ways in the west wall, each flanked by pillars supporting ball finials. Along the north wall is a curved vinery range, with grapes, vines, and peaches and from here the potting sheds and Gardener's House on the outside of the north wall are accessed. The Gardener's House, vinery range, and walled garden are contemporary with the house and gardens and were designed by Blomfield.
Country Life, 27 (12 March 1910), pp 378-85 N Pevsner and D Lloyd, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (1967), p 362 A Paterson, The Gardens of England 2, (1978), pp 126-8 K Bilikowski, Historic Parks and Gardens (1983) D Ottewill, The Edwardian Garden (1989), pp 22, 24
Maps OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1871-2, published 1875 2nd edition published 1897 3rd edition published 1911 OS 25" to 1 mile: 3rd edition published 1910
Description written: June 2000 Amended: July 2001 Register Inspector: CB Edited: February 2004
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 1862
Legacy System: Parks and Gardens
This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.
End of official listing