This was a Georgian house, originally known as Clayfield Lodge, but also known as Clayfield House, situated in grounds near the north corner of Banister Road and The Avenue in the vicinity of modern day Hulse Road and Cavendish Grove. The first known reference is an advertisement in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 27 October 1817: “To be let, elegantly furnished, from the 11th of January, 1818, or sooner, if required, in the much admired neighbourhood of Southampton, from which it is a mile distant on the road to Winchester. – A capital mansion, called Clayfield Lodge.” The house was set in “six acres of the best grass land, which forms a lawn in front of the house, and is continued by forest scenery, which gives the appearance of great extent appertaining to the premises.” There were six bedrooms, servants’ quarters, a greenhouse and kitchen garden, stables and a coach house, and the landlord (unnamed) would pay for repairs and taxes.
The lease was taken by Henry Minchin, who held a “splendid entertainment” there on 21 January 1818 “when the wonted hospitality of the host and hostess was attentively evinced towards a numerous assemblage of the nobility and fashionables of our town and neighbourhood.” (Salisbury and Winchester Journal 23 January 1818.) Henry lived at Clayfield Lodge until his death in 1836. He is listed on an 1834 Voters List as qualifying for a vote “life estate in a freehold house and land,” and living at “Clayfield House.”
Clayfield House was put up for sale in October 1836, as an “enviable residence” and an “advantageous investment” for a speculator. Job Ede was the owner until his death in 1844. Sales particulars from 1843 (see clipping below), describe it as 'This most inestimable property,' with seven bedrooms, eight servants' rooms, numerous outbuildings - including a double coach house and stables - extensive gardens and a meadow. Job’s widow continued to be listed as the householder until the 1845 directory.
In 1843, more detailed sales particulars had mentioned that the property would be a "most advantageous" investment, "having a frontage of about 1,090 feet of the most valuable and finest Building Ground in the vicinity of the Town, in width, at the north end, about 300 feet, and at the south end, upwards of 170 feet… It is well supplied with the finest water, and possesses the great and rare advantage of being entire free from the borough rates." In May, 1848 building leases on “some very eligible building land at Clayfield” were advertised in the Hampshire Independent “admirably adapted for the erection of detached Villas, and other good houses, of a class greatly required in the vicinity of Southampton.”
About this time, the original single house was rebuilt as two semi-detached properties. As shown on the 1870 Ordnance Survey map, the western half became “Clayfield House,” and the eastern half “Clayfield Lodge.” An 1855 advertisement stated that Clayfield Lodge contained “dining and drawing rooms, study, eight bed and dressing rooms, kitchen and offices. Good garden &c.”
From 1849 to 1856 the new Clayfield House was the home of Sampson Payne, owner of a china and glass store on the High Street and twice mayor of Southampton, (in 1854 and 1855). Henry Sampson Easty was the next resident of Clayfield House, 1857-1859, followed by Edward Dixon, of Dixon and Cardus, 1861-1871. Clayfield Lodge was occupied by Charles Vicars Hunter 1849-1853, and by Mr Easty in 1855, before he moved to Clayfield House after Mr Payne's death. The Misses Sharp were running a school at Clayfield Lodge in 1858, and the 1861 census shows there were five of them: Clementina, Ellen, Maria, Henrietta and Louisa Sharp, and that three young ladies were boarding there, all from Jersey.
In June 1870, the freehold of the two properties, let to E Dixon and J P S Holton Esq, was auctioned by Perkins and Sons “by order of the trustees of the Will of the late Wm. Betts, Esq.” By the 1871 census, one of the properties was occupied by Edward Dixon, and the other by Col. Neville Hill Shute, who bought the freehold to both properties in July 1872 for £2,100. “All the household furniture and effects of Clayfield Lodge, Avenue,” were auctioned in October 1872 “the tenant having ceased to rent the said premises as a furnished house.” (Hampshire Advertiser 12 October 1872)
At this point the sources show considerable confusion as to the naming of the two houses. The 1871 census does not name either property. The 1876 and 1880 directories have Richard Parker, a wine merchant, at Clayfield House, and Col. Shute at Clayfield Lodge. The 1881 census just has "Clayfield" for both, as do the directories 1884-1887. However, the 1888 directory has Col. Shute living at Clayfield House, and Robert Parker at Clayfield Lodge. However, the probate calendar for 1888 says Col Shute was “late of Clayfield Lodge.”
In 1889 the estate was being “lotted out for building". The estate had been sold by auction in November 1888, “since which the family residence formerly occupying the site has been demolished and ten ornamental villas built by Jonas Nichols. (Hampshire Independent 7 June 1890)
Robert Parker was still apparently living at “Clayfield, the Avenue” in 1891, and after his death in 1892, the “desirable residence, with its pretty conservatory, gardens and grounds,” was let, furnished (Hampshire Independent 13 February 1892). John Henry Harrison Hodge appears in the directories 1895-1898.

Newspaper clipping:

Important freehold mansion and land - (Hampshire Independent 13/05/1843)

Further reading:
Southampton Occasional Notes, 2nd Series by ‘Townsman’, p38. (HS/h)
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p130. (HS/h)
Picture of Southampton (1849), by Philip Brannon, p72. (HS/h)


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