Portswood House was built in c.1776 for General Giles Stibbert, a serving officer of the East India Company. He had recently acquired the Portswood estate which he extended to St Denys in the north. He engaged architect John Crunden, who had also designed his main residence in Hereford Street, London, to design the house, which was built at the southern end of the estate to the east of Portswood Road and just to the north of modern Lawn Road. A guide book of 1804 reveals that since its building the house had been considerably improved and a portico added by John Taylor of Southampton. A painting of the house formerly in the Lankester Collection (image 1) shows it have been a rather plain structure with just two chimneys, but a later engraving (image 2) shows it be a more substantial building.
The estate was acquired by George Jones in 1832 and by 1840 he was selling off part of the land as building plots. The house was demolished in 1852. A neo-Gothic lodge situated to the north of the house and used as a gate house to the estate still stands on Portswood Road.
After c.1875 the name Portswood House was given to the former Portswood Lodge (see below).
Lost Houses of Southampton, by Jessica Vale. (HS/i)
‘The Country Houses of Southampton’, by Jessica Vale in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, volume 39, 1983, p174, 181. (HS/i)
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p52-53. (HS/h)
Highfield: a Village Remembered, By John Edgar Mann, p39-40. (HS/h)
‘A Remnant of Georgian Whimsy Amidst Southampton’s Suburbia’, by Christine Clearkin, in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no. 12, Summer 2007, p23-29. (HS/h)
‘Southampton’s Tale of Two Portswood Houses’, by Christine Clearkin, in Hampshire, Vol. 48, No. 10, August 2008, p50-52. (H/y)
‘Portswood House and General Giles Stibbert’, by Christine Clearkin, in Fosmag Magazine, No. 66, Spring 2010, p18-22. (HS/lt)
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