SPARSHOLT MANOR GARDEN
Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1001704
Date first listed: 20-Jan-2009
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Winchester (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 43816 31302
Formal gardens laid out by H Inigo Triggs in 1922-3.
HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT Harry Inigo Triggs (1876-1923) garden designer, architect and author, designed the gardens at Sparsholt Manor for Samuel Bostock as the setting for a new manor house (also by Inigo Triggs with Gerald Unsworth). The chosen site was located on the edge of the village of Sparsholt on a formerly virgin site. The house and gardens have been little altered and remain (2008) in private ownership.
DESCRIPTION LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Sparsholt Manor is located in the village of Sparsholt, Hampshire. It is bounded to the north by Woodman Lane, by open fields to the east and south and by an access track to Church Farm to the west. The boundaries are marked by a mixture of walls, fences and hedges. Looking south from the garden there are views over the adjoining rolling countryside.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The house and garden are reached via Woodman Lane to the north. There is an entrance gate with brick piers. The gate piers are modern but have been carefully designed to compliment the original house and garden features. Once through the gates the drive sweeps round to the south-east flanked by curved dry stone walls before reaching a turning circle to the north of the house with a central oval grass lawn with fountain.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING Sparsholt Manor (listed Grade II) was designed by H Inigo Triggs and G Unsworth and built in 1922-23 for Samuel Bostock. It is a country house with Arts & Crafts and Domestic Revival influences. It is an H-plan, three-storey house of red brick with tile roofs and tile hanging. The principal elevation is to the south overlooking the gardens and is broadly symmetrical with the exception of an additional two-storey service wing to the west. The main H-block here has a central set-back section with a pair of large matching gables flanked by loggias.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The formal garden is divided into a series of garden rooms: To the north-east of the house is a hedged area which now contains a swimming pool. The pool is not an original feature as it is not shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1932 but is shown on aerial photographs of the 1960s in the possession of the owner. The surrounding mixed hedge includes yew which has outgrown its original formality. To the south is a former tennis court with further surrounding hedges and a pair of copper beeches to its west marking the boundary between the formal and more informal garden to the east. To the west of the tennis court is the former sunken rose garden. This is rectangular in form with a central sunken pool and then alternating levels of lawn and bedding. There are some staddle stones to its east which serve to anglicise this rather French compartment. The different levels are defined by dwarf walls, a feature which continues to the north where the main garden is divided into levels to create a terraced garden falling from north to south. Immediately adjacent to the house are lawns and bedding with York stone paving running both along the frontage (west-east) and north-south providing a path leading to the terrace. This has a dry stone wall as a division between the upper and lower levels and at its centre has a Dolphin spout and pool flanked by two flights of shallow steps which lead downwards. The lower level has a central stone rill with semi-circular side pools flanked by lawns and a large circular pool at the terminus with a surrounding circular bed. A semi-circular arc of six Box hedge shapes lies to the south of the pool. To the south again, the land has been modelled to create a curving bank with a straight box hedge beyond which terminates the garden.
To the south-west of the house, outside the kitchen is a modern (C21) circular pavement in basket-weave brickwork. The formal garden is concluded on its western edge by a brick and timber pergola and end gazebo/summerhouse with an ogee-shaped roof. This dividing line is continued to the south by a rockery with a large Italian Alder at its southern end. To the west of the pergola is a small area bounded by Italian Yew hedges clipped into vertical terminals which form a gateway through into the kitchen garden.
KITCHEN GARDEN An area of lawned kitchen garden with some surviving beds lies to the west of the formal gardens and is entered through the Irish Yew hedge. The kitchen garden is divided into quadrants by grass paths with the site of a former well at the centre. There are high brick walls to the west, north and partially to the east (adjoining the Yew hedge) but only a low fence to the south. This has a practical and also visual function, allowing frost to roll off the garden and giving views over the adjoining farming landscape. There is evidence for a former covered seat and view point in the north-west corner of the garden. There are remains of a small glasshouse and cold frame in the north-west quadrant. Planting is now minimal although there are some surviving espalier apple trees.
ANCILLARY BUILDINGS A number of structures ancillary to the house are also noteworthy and part of the overall composition by Triggs: There is a pergola to the west of the house which has brick piers with tile detailing supporting cross timbers (probably in red cedar). It is decorated with a cast iron bell to the north and is concluded, to the south, by a brick gazebo with an ogee tiled roof. There is a coach house and stable block (with impressive weathervane) to the north of the kitchen garden and a quirky gardener's WC to their north, all in red brick with tiled roofs.
SITE VISIT: 30 January 2008.
REFERENCES Baskervyle-Glegg, D: 'Designs for a Garden, Formal Informality' in Country Life, October 26 1995, pp58-61 Halfield, M et al, 1980: 'Triggs, H. Inigo (1876-1923)' in British Gardeners: A Biographical Dictionary Triggs, HI, 1902: Formal Gardens in England and Scotland Triggs, HI, 1906: The Art of Garden Design in Italy Waymark, J, 2008, 'Triggs (Harry Benjamin) Inigo (1876-1923)', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography at www.oxforddn.com
REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION The gardens of Sparsholt Manor, designed by H Inigo Triggs in 1922-3, are included on the Register of Parks and Gardens at grade II for the following principal reasons: * a relatively unaltered example of a garden by this early C20 designer of note, designed and executed to compliment the contemporary Sparsholt Manor, also by Triggs with Gerald Unsworth, * one of the last, if not the last garden design by Triggs and as such a summation of his exploration of formal European garden design in an English Edwardian idiom, * a design which is well executed with strong structural components and sparing yet effective specimen planting.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 5340
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