Cranbury Park

Cranbury Park

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Cranbury Park is a stately home
Stately home
A stately home is a "great country house". It is thus a palatial great house or in some cases an updated castle, located in the British Isles, mostly built between the mid-16th century and the early part of the 20th century, as well as converted abbeys and other church property...

 and country estate situated in the parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 of Hursley
Hursley
Hursley is a village and civil parish in Hampshire, England with a population of around 800 in 2005. It is located roughly mid-way between Romsey and Winchester on the A3090...

, near Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

, England. It was formerly the home to Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

 and later to the Chamberlayne family, whose descendants now own and occupy the house and surrounding park and farmland. The house and park are not generally open to the public, although open days are occasionally held.

Early years


Cranbury was originally an important hamlet of Hursley, with many distinct farms and cottages, but now the name belongs only to Cranbury House and Park. The first recorded tenant of Cranbury is a Mr. Shoveller, who surrendered it to Roger Coram before 1580. Coram rented Cranbury at £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

17 2s per annum from the Lord of the Manor of Merdon, Sir Thomas Clarke.

An incident is recorded of a dispute between Coram and Clarke regarding the rights of the tenants and the Lord of the Manor:
Following the death of Coram, Sir Edward Richards held the property until the 1640s, when he let it to Dr John Young, dean of Winchester. During the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 era, when Young was expelled from the deanery, he lived in quiet retirement at Cranbury. His widow occupied the estate in 1650, and later transferred the house to Sir Charles Wyndham, who married her daughter in 1665. Sir Charles, who (like Coram before him) was noted as "a zealous assertor of the tenants' rights", was Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Southampton
Southampton (UK Parliament constituency)
Southampton was a parliamentary constituency which was represented in the British House of Commons. Centred on the town of Southampton, it returned two Members of Parliament from 1295 until it was abolished for the 1950 general election....

 from 1679 to 1698 and for St Ives
St Ives (UK Parliament constituency)
St. Ives is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.-History:...

 in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 from 1698 to 1701. He died in 1706, although his wife survived him until 1720. A small monument was raised for them in Hursley Church.

John Conduitt and Sir Isaac Newton


On the death of Lady Wyndham, the house and estate were sold to John Conduitt
John Conduitt
John Conduitt was a British Member of Parliament and Master of the Mint.-Early life, education and family:Conduitt was the son of Leonard and Sarah Conduitt, and was baptized at St Paul's, Covent Garden, London, on 8 March 1688. He was admitted to St Peter's College Westminster School as a King's...

. In May 1721, Conduitt married Catherine Barton
Catherine Barton
Catherine Barton was Isaac Newton's half-niece, probable mistress of Charles Montague and later, the wife of John Conduitt.-Early life:...

, half-niece and adopted daughter of Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

. Shortly after his marriage, Conduitt became MP for Whitchurch, Hampshire
Whitchurch (UK Parliament constituency)
Whitchurch was a parliamentary borough in the English County of Hampshire, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons from 1586 until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act.-History:...

. Towards the end of his life, Newton became resident at Cranbury, remaining there until his death in 1727. On Newton's death, Conduitt succeeded him as Master of the Mint
Master of the Mint
Master of the Mint was an important office in the governments of Scotland and England, and later Great Britain, between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Master was the highest officer in the Royal Mint. Until 1699, appointment was usually for life. Its holder occasionally sat in the cabinet...

. In 1734, although Coduitt was re-elected to his seat at Whitchurch he chose to represent Southampton
Southampton (UK Parliament constituency)
Southampton was a parliamentary constituency which was represented in the British House of Commons. Centred on the town of Southampton, it returned two Members of Parliament from 1295 until it was abolished for the 1950 general election....

 instead.

Conduitt had a sundial
Sundial
A sundial is a device that measures time by the position of the Sun. In common designs such as the horizontal sundial, the sun casts a shadow from its style onto a surface marked with lines indicating the hours of the day. The style is the time-telling edge of the gnomon, often a thin rod or a...

 installed in the gardens at Cranbury Park, which was calculated by Sir Isaac Newton. The sundial has been described thus:

The Dummers and Lady Dance-Holland


Conduitt died in 1737, leaving a daughter, Catherine, whose guardians sold Cranbury Park to Thomas Lee Dummer
Thomas Lee Dummer
Thomas Lee Dummer was an English Member of Parliament for Southampton and Newport .-Family:...

, who succeeded him as MP for Southampton, retaining that position for four years. In 1747, he was elected as MP for Newport
Newport (Isle of Wight) (UK Parliament constituency)
Newport was a parliamentary borough located in Newport , which was abolished in for the 1885 general election. It was occasionally referred to by the alternative name of Medina....

 on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 and continued to represent that town until his death in 1765. On his death, the estate was left to his son, Thomas
Thomas Dummer
Thomas Dummer was an English Member of Parliament for Newport , Yarmouth , Downton in Wiltshire , Wendover in Buckinghamshire and Lymington in Hampshire ....

, who also succeeded him as MP for Newport. Thomas was subsequently to become MP for Yarmouth
Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) (UK Parliament constituency)
Yarmouth was a borough constituency of the House of Commons of England then of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832...

 (1769–1774), Wendover
Wendover (UK Parliament constituency)
Wendover was a borough constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832...

 in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

 (1775–1780) and Lymington
Lymington (UK Parliament constituency)
Lymington was a parliamentary borough in Hampshire, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons from 1584 until 1868, and then one member from 1868 until 1885, when the borough was abolished.-1584-1640:- 1640-1868 :...

 (1780–1781). He was also elected to represent Downton
Downton (UK Parliament constituency)
Downton was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.-History:...

 in Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

 in 1774, but his election was declared invalid.
In 1770, Thomas purchased the City Cross (also known as the Buttercross
Buttercross
A buttercross, also known as butter cross, is a type of market cross associated with English market towns and dating from medieval times. Its name originates from the fact that they were located at the market place, where people from neighbouring villages would gather to buy locally produced...

) from the Corporation of Winchester, intending to have it re-erected at Cranbury. When his workmen arrived to dismantle the cross, they were prevented from doing so by the people of the city, who "organised a small riot" and they were forced to abandon their task. The agreement with the city was cancelled and Dummer erected a lath and plaster
Lath and plaster
Lath and plaster is a building process used mainly for interior walls in Canada and the United States until the late 1950s. After the 1950s, drywall began to replace the lath and plaster process in the United States. In the United Kingdom, lath and plaster was used for some interior partition...

 facsimile, which stood in the park for about sixty years before it was destroyed by the weather.

Undaunted by his failure to acquire the City Cross to grace the estate, Dummer turned his attention to the ruins of Netley Abbey
Netley Abbey
Netley Abbey is a ruined late medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for Roman Catholic monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite being a royal abbey, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars...

, which he also owned, and moved the north transept of the abbey to Cranbury Park, where it can be still be seen as a folly
Folly
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs...

 in the gardens of the house (at 51°00′08"N 01°21′49"W). The ruins comprise an arch, the base of a pillar, and a scaled-down gateway tower. The rear of the gateway has been made into a keeper's lodge, and is known to the village of Otterbourne
Otterbourne
Otterbourne is a village in Hampshire, England. It is located approximately four miles south of Winchester and eight miles north of Southampton. In October 2002, its population was approximately 1,520, and there were 602 dwellings....

 as "the Castle" and is marked as such on the Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey , an executive agency and non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom, is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, producing maps of Great Britain , and one of the world's largest producers of maps.The name reflects its creation together with...

 map.

Thomas Dummer died without heirs in 1781, leaving his property at Cranbury and Netley
Netley
Netley, sometimes called Netley Abbey, is a village on the south coast of Hampshire, England, situated on the east side of the city of Southampton...

 and also at Horninghold
Horninghold
Horninghold is a small village and parish seven miles north-east of Market Harborough in the county of Leicestershire.Following the Norman Conquest in 1066 the village was given to Robert de Todeni, Lord of Belvoir. In about 1076 he gave the parish to the priory of Belvoir where it remained until...

 in Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...

 first to his widow, Harriet, with reversion to Thomas Chamberlayne, a member of a family with which the Dummers had been previously connected. Harriet Dummer married Thomas Chamberlayne, and after his death, which presumably occurred very shortly afterwards, she married the artist Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland
Nathaniel Dance-Holland
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, 1st Baronet was a notable English portrait painter and later a politician.The third son of architect George Dance the Elder, Dance studied art under Francis Hayman, and like many contemporaries also studied in Italy...

, Bt), whose brother George Dance
George Dance the Younger
George Dance the Younger was an English architect and surveyor. The fifth and youngest son of George Dance the Elder, he came from a distinguished family of architects, artists and dramatists...

 had designed the present-day house, built in 1780. Like many of his predecessors and successors, Dance-Holland was an MP serving East Grinstead
East Grinstead (UK Parliament constituency)
East Grinstead was a parliamentary constituency in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. It first existed as a Parliamentary borough from 1307, returning two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons elected by the bloc vote system...

 in East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

 from 1790 to 1802 and again from 1807 to his death in 1811, and Great Bedwyn
Great Bedwyn (UK Parliament constituency)
Great Bedwyn was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act.-1295–1640:-1640–1832:Notes...

 from 1802 to 1806.

The Chamberlayne family


Dance-Holland died in 1811, but his wife survived him until 1825; on her death, William Chamberlayne, MP for Southampton
Southampton (UK Parliament constituency)
Southampton was a parliamentary constituency which was represented in the British House of Commons. Centred on the town of Southampton, it returned two Members of Parliament from 1295 until it was abolished for the 1950 general election....

, came into the property under the terms of the will of Thomas Dummer. William Chamberlayne (1760–1829) was MP for Southampton from 1818 until his death. Whilst serving the town, William Chamberlayne was also chairman of the company supplying gas lighting to the town of Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 and donated the iron columns for the new gas street-lights. In 1822, the townspeople erected a memorial consisting of an iron Doric
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 column; this still stands in the middle of a roundabout
Roundabout
A roundabout is the name for a road junction in which traffic moves in one direction around a central island. The word dates from the early 20th century. Roundabouts are common in many countries around the world...

 near the city centre.

On the death of William Chamberlayne in 1829, the estate passed to his nephew Thomas Chamberlayne
Thomas Chamberlayne (cricketer)
Thomas Chamberlayne was an English cricketer and yachtsman.-Early life:...

. Thomas (1805–1876) was a keen yacht
Yacht
A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...

sman who sailed his yacht, Arrow, in the inaugural America's Cup
America's Cup
The America’s Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging...

 race in 1851. He also played cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 for Hampshire
Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Hampshire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1863 as a successor to the Hampshire county cricket teams and has played at the Antelope Ground from then until 1885, before moving to the County Ground where it...

 and was a great hunting
Fox hunting
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of followers led by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting originated in its current...

 and coursing
Coursing
Coursing is the pursuit of game or other animals by dogs—chiefly greyhounds and other sighthounds—catching their prey by speed, running by sight and not by scent. Coursing was a common hunting technique, practised by the nobility, the landed and wealthy, and commoners with sighthounds and lurchers...

 enthusiast, who built both new stables and a cricket pitch at Cranbury Park.

On his death in 1876 the estate passed to his son, Tankerville Chamberlayne
Tankerville Chamberlayne
Tankerville Chamberlayne was a landowner in Hampshire and a Member of Parliament, serving the Southampton constituency three times, as an Independent and Conservative. Following the 1895 General Election false allegations were made concerning his conduct and this resulted in his being unseated on...

.
Tankerville Chamberlayne was also MP for Southampton from 1892 until 1896, when he was disqualified for electoral fraud
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

 in the 1895 General Election
United Kingdom general election, 1895
The United Kingdom general election of 1895 was held from 13 July - 7 August 1895. It was won by the Conservatives led by Lord Salisbury who formed an alliance with the Liberal Unionist Party and had a large majority over the Liberals, led by Lord Rosebery...

; despite this he was returned to office in 1900
United Kingdom general election, 1900
-Seats summary:-See also:*MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1900*The Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918-External links:***-References:*F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987**...

 until he lost his seat in 1906
United Kingdom general election, 1906
-Seats summary:-See also:*MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1906*The Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918-External links:***-References:*F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987**...

. It was only after his retirement from politics that Tankerville Chamberlayne took up permanent residence at Cranbury, having previously resided at his Weston Grove
Weston, Southampton
Weston is a small suburb on the south-eastern side of Southampton, UK, predominantly built on the Weston Grove Estate formerly owned by the Chamberlayne family. It also includes the area that was previously the Barnfield Estate. Weston includes part of Mayfield Park, which was previously the...

 estate in Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

.

Chamberlayne died in 1924 and was succeeded by his daughter, Penelope Mary Alexandra Chamberlayne, who married Major Nigel Donald Peter Macdonald (son of Sir Godfrey Middleton Bosville Macdonald of the Isles (15th Baronet)), changing their surname to "Chamberlayne-Macdonald". The family are still resident at Cranbury Park.

During the Second World War, the house became the temporary headquarters of the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

. It was also briefly the base for Canadian troops prior to their embarkation for the Normandy landings.

The house



The present-day house was built in 1780 for Thomas Dummer
Thomas Dummer
Thomas Dummer was an English Member of Parliament for Newport , Yarmouth , Downton in Wiltshire , Wendover in Buckinghamshire and Lymington in Hampshire ....

 and his wife, to the designs of George Dance the Younger
George Dance the Younger
George Dance the Younger was an English architect and surveyor. The fifth and youngest son of George Dance the Elder, he came from a distinguished family of architects, artists and dramatists...

. The house is built in red brick with stone dressings. The entrance is through a porte-cochere
Porte-cochere
A porte-cochère is the architectural term for a porch- or portico-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building through which a horse and carriage can pass in order for the occupants to alight under cover, protected from the weather.The porte-cochère was a feature of many late 18th...

 either side of which are large columned windows flanked by columns, set in arch-headed reserves, with roundels in relief in each tympanum
Tympanum (architecture)
In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments. Most architectural styles include this element....

 and above the porch. All the other windows of both floors repeat the Serlian window motif. Balustrades surmounted by urns run around the parapet, framing the whole house to give a very pleasing prospect within the landscape.

Of the interior, Nikolaus Pevsner
Nikolaus Pevsner
Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner, CBE, FBA was a German-born British scholar of history of art and, especially, of history of architecture...

 wrote that it was an "unforgettable experience" to behold the hall with its coffered tunnel-vaults to the full height of the house and the beautiful ballroom. There is a starfish vault derived from the tombs of the ancients The main rooms are arranged around a central hall and staircase, and there is a good deal of fine plaster decoration in the Adam style, especially in the saloon on the south front, which has a circular domed ceiling. The library was designed by John Buonarotti Papworth
John Buonarotti Papworth
John Buonarotti Papworth was a prolific architect, artist and a founder member of the Royal Institute of British Architects....

 for Thomas Chamberlayne in about 1830.

Writing in 1898, John Keble
John Keble
John Keble was an English churchman and poet, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, and gave his name to Keble College, Oxford.-Early life:...

 described the house thus:

The estate



The house stands on a hill at 85 metres above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 and from the extensive grounds beautiful views are obtained of Southampton Water and the Isle of Wight to the south.

The extensive pleasure grounds were laid out in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by John Papworth
John Buonarotti Papworth
John Buonarotti Papworth was a prolific architect, artist and a founder member of the Royal Institute of British Architects....

, and include fountains, a rose garden, specimen trees and pinetum, the lakeside walk and the fern walk. The folly
Folly
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs...

 known as "The Castle", built from material plundered from Netley Abbey
Netley Abbey
Netley Abbey is a ruined late medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for Roman Catholic monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite being a royal abbey, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars...

, is situated in the southern corner of the park.

A stream rises in the park passing through the Upper and Lower Ponds, close to The Castle. From here it passes through Hiltingbury
Hiltingbury
Hiltingbury is an area within the Borough of Eastleigh in Hampshire, England. There are two electoral wards representing Hiltingbury, returning a total of four councillors to the Borough Council.-Education:...

 Lake, then under Merdon Avenue in Chandler's Ford
Chandler's Ford
Chandler's Ford is a largely residential area and civil parish in the Borough of Eastleigh in Hampshire, England, with a population of 20,071 in the 2001 UK Census....

, before joining Monks Brook
Monks Brook
Monks Brook is a river in the English county of Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Itchen, which it joins at a medieval salmon pool in Swaythling. The brook is formed from seven streams that rise in the chalky South Downs, with the official source of Monks Brook being known as Bucket's...

. Between the Upper Pond and The Castle is the campsite of the Chandler's Ford & District Scout
Boy Scout
A Scout is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section...

Group.