Bellevue House and its gardens occupied the area demarcated by London Road, College Place, Bellevue Terrace, Dorset Street and Brunswick Place. It was built by 1768 for Nathaniel St Andre, physician to George I, who died in 1776 aged 96 and possibly never lived there. The house was situated at the northern apex of this site just north of the present day Ordnance Road, and was set in 12 acres of gardens. It was described in James Linden’s Southampton Guide of 1768 as the finest of the many large country houses which then encircled the town. Other town guides of the period were lavish in their praise of the house, its gardens and the fine views, which then looked out over the Itchen River.
Following St Andre’s death in 1776, the house was sold by auction. It is unclear who then purchased the house, but by 1786 it was occupied by Rear Admiral Sir Richard King (1730-1806). From 1802 to 1808 it was owned by Josias Jackson, a retired plantation owner from the West Indies, and then by Admiral Sir Richard Rodney Bligh who died there in 1821. In 1835 the house was bought by John Watkin Drew, a local businessman, who sold off some of the land in the southern part of the grounds for development. In 1853 the house and remaining land was leased to the Reverend James Duncan, who transferred there his Southampton Collegiate School, which had previously been called the Diocesan School, and was situated in nearby Prospect Place. In 1886 the school closed and the house was demolished to make way for further housing development.
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p55, 88. (HS/h)
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p39-53. (HS/h)
Lost Houses of Southampton, by Jessica Vale. (HS/i)
Southampton Occasional Notes 2nd series, by ‘Townsman’, p52. (HS/h)
‘The Country Houses of Southampton’, by Jessica Vale in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, volume 39, 1983, p173, 181. (H/f)
Picture of Southampton, (1849), by Philip Brannon, p26 (HS/h)
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