Ridgeway Castle, situated on the west side of Peartree Avenue, was acquired in c.1792 by Thomas Lewin, a former merchant of the East India Company. The castellated mansion was set in 24 acres of grounds that extended down to the River Itchen. The building in its original form may date back to the 1760s, but it is clear from the Lewin Family correspondence that Thomas made extensive alterations and improvements to the building in the years after 1792. John Kent was his architect.

The castle was demolished in c.1855 and a smaller, five-bedroom house, Ridgeway House, was built on the site (image below). It was the home for a few years at the end of the 19th century of Mornington Cannon, the famous jockey. The estate was sold off for development in 1912 and the house was demolished in the 1920s when the land was converted into a golf course.

Ridgeway House

Image Unavailable

Ridgeway House. Watercolour by unknown artist, now in a private collection, c.1900

Further reading:

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, p175, 183, 184. (HS/i)
Ridgeway Estate, 1912. (sales brochure) (HS/i)
‘The Ridgeway House’, by Jessica Vale, in FOSMAG Newsletter, No. 65, Autumn 2009, p26. (HS/lt)


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