An estate name for the district in the north-east suburban area, south of the Itchen and north east of Woodmill Lane. It has been carved out of the Townhill estate which represents the medieval manor of Mansbridge/Townhill. Historically the name Townhill belongs to the district today called West End (outside the city boundaries), and it was the building of Townhill Park (see below) on the site of the traditional manor house that localised it in one segment of the much larger manor.
Townhill Park estate was created in c.1787 by Nathaniel Middleton who bought the land and enlarged and adapted the existing farmhouse as his residence. This house burned down c.1800 and was replaced with a smaller house, the nucleus of the existing house. In 1809, after the death of Middleton, the estate was acquired by William Hallett, although Middleton’s wife continued to live in the house until her death. Hallett may have lived at Townhill at various times but his main home seems to have been at Candy Farm, Allington. He sold off much of the estate land to local farmers in the mid 19th century. In the late 19th century the estate was acquired by Lord Swaythling for use by his son as a country residence. The house was enlarged and re-faced and in 1912 the gardens were re-designed by Gertrude Jekyll. In 1948 the estate was sold off and the house became a girls' school. It is now the Gregg School. It is Grade II listed, as is a surviving mid-19th (1830s) century stable block (image 3) on Cutbush Lane.
Middleton Close off Wakefield Road and Hallet Close were named after the former owners of the estate.
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, p176, 182, 187. (HS/i)
Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p93-102. (HS/h)
Southampton People, by John Edgar Mann, p71-72. (HS/t)
Townhill Park House, by W. C. Norfolk. (HS/i)
Townhill Park – The life and Times of a Gertrude Jekyll Garden, by Rosaleen Wilkinson. (HS/i)
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