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Garden Terrace Walls and Seats, Minley Manor

A Grade II Listed Building in Minley, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.315 / 51°18'53"N

Longitude: -0.8215 / 0°49'17"W

OS Eastings: 482234

OS Northings: 157976

OS Grid: SU822579

Mapcode National: GBR D8X.H50

Mapcode Global: VHDXN.Q62S

Entry Name: Garden Terrace Walls and Seats, Minley Manor

Listing Date: 19 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1421382

Location: Blackwater and Hawley, Hart, Hampshire, GU17

County: Hampshire

District: Hart

Civil Parish: Blackwater and Hawley

Built-Up Area: Minley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Minley

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Sandhurst

Summary

Retaining walls to the garden terrace at Minley Manor, 1858-62, by Messrs Veitch in association with Henry Clutton, the north-east return probably remodelled c1908, and the garden seats at either end, dated 1861 and 1908.

Description

Retaining walls to the garden terrace at Minley Manor, 1858-62, by Messrs Veitch in association with Henry Clutton, the north-east return probably remodelled c1908, and the garden seats at either end, dated 1861 and 1908.

MATERIALS: the walls are red brick laid in Flemish bond with limestone dressings, the north-east return in coursed rough-hewn stone. Garden seats are of limestone.

PLAN: the terrace is 120m in length and runs north-east to south-west along the garden-facing elevation of Minley Manor. At either end of the terrace is a semi-circular garden seat. At the east end is a low stone parapet wall supporting a decorative wrought iron screen, gates and overthrow returns from the chapel to the end of the garden terrace.

DESCRIPTION: the retaining wall forms a low parapet wall on the north-west terrace side and rises in height on the parkland side as the lower ground level falls away. The wall has shaped stone copings; square buttress piers at intervals also have stone copings and bases for ornaments. At either end of the terrace the retaining wall terminates in a tall pier of banded brick and limestone, each surmounted by an enriched, probably cast stone, vase finial. An opening part-way along, with a wrought iron gate and overthrow, leads to a short flight of steps within brick and stone parapet walls, descending to the parkland. The wall turns 90 degrees at the east end in the form of a battered bastion, built from coursed rough-hewn stone, presumably part of the later iteration of the terrace, from where steps lead from the terrace to the pleasure grounds.

The matching garden seats have a semi-circular bench with a moulded back and scrolled armrests. The bench ends are enriched with a griffin carved in relief, a motif found elsewhere in the manor complex. The benches sit on a radially paved base with central stones with their dates, 1861 (west) and 1908 (east), inlaid in lead.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE
The return parapet wall from the terrace to the chapel with a decorative wrought iron screen, gates and overthrow.

History

In 1855 the manor of Minley was bought by Raikes Currie (1801-1881), a wealthy banker and Liberal politician. He immediately commissioned Henry Clutton to build a country house on the site.

Clutton (1819-1893) began his career under Edward Blore and toured Italy, France, Belgium and Germany before beginning his own practice in the mid-1840s. Supported by private means from the Walworth Estates, Clutton was able to pick and choose his commissions, and favoured churches, schools and private houses. He became a fellow of RIBA, wrote for the Ecclesiological Society and published widely on the subject of French Gothic/Renaissance architecture. His design for Minley (NHLE 1258061) was initially modelled on the corps de logis at the chateau at Blois (Hunting 1983, 98) and was at the time one of the first C19 country houses to be built in England in the French Renaissance manner, though under the influence of the English Gothic Revival. Typical of the period, Clutton rejected uniformity and symmetry, in favour of ordered but irregular elevations which, later augmented by Devey's alterations, were noted by Girouard for their ‘aggressive anarchy’. Clutton designed further buildings on the estate, including the Church of St Andrew (NHLE 1258200) and a number of lodges, before his eyesight failed and he ended his practice.

When Raikes Currie died in 1881 the estate was passed to his son Bertram Wodehouse Currie (1827-1896) who in 1885 employed George Devey (1820-1886) to make extensive alterations to the house and grounds. Devey died in 1886 and his designs were executed by his chief draughtsman and successor, Arthur Castings (1853-1913).

Formal gardens around the house, including the garden terrace and western seat, kitchen gardens and pleasure grounds were laid out during the first phase of building, between 1858 and 1861, by Messrs Veitch. The Veitches were a notable family of horticulturalists, based in Chelsea from 1853, who were employed again, during Devey’s period of alteration. Drawings by Castings for the sunken garden and walling survive, suggesting a collaboration with the Veitches.

Bertram Currie’s son Laurence inherited the estate in 1896 and continued to develop it, employing Castings again. The house was extended and additional garden and ancillary buildings and landscape features were also added, including a water tower (NHLE 1258232) and summerhouse (NHLE 1339847), and the eastern garden seat, added in 1908 and replicating that to the west of 1861.

Laurence died in 1934 and his son, Bertram Francis sold the entire estate to the Army 1936: initially it was used to house the senior section of the staff college, and latterly the Royal Engineers.

Reasons for Listing

The garden terrace walls, 1858-62, the north-east return probably remodelled c1908, and the garden seats, dated 1861 and 1908, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Design interest: the terrace wall forms an important feature in the setting of the house and its landscape, defining the separation between formal gardens and parkland;
* Architectural interest: the terrace wall is enriched with ornate banded end piers and vase finials and the garden seats, which are dated and bear the family emblem, terminate the terrace at either end;
* Date: the dated seats are structural markers of the development of the estate grounds; 
* Historic interest: the principal mansion, together with the other associated buildings and landscape illustrate the evolution of a mid-C19 to early-C20 landed estate that comprises buildings by two significant and influential C19 architects, Clutton and Devey, and latterly Devey’s draughtsman Castings, laid out in collaboration with a leading horticulturalist;  
* Group value: Minley Manor exemplifies a landed estate set in a registered designed landscape, marked by a number of listed buildings of note which together form an exceptional and very complete group.

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