Pokesdown and Stourfield before the 19th Century

Stourfield House (cont...)

Stourfield House is sold

The properties were offered for sale in 1789. and on 16th May and 8th June they were advertised in the Hampshire Chronicle for sale by private contract. The notice of the sale read "....the situation of Stourfield House is in a delightful healthy part of the county, within half a mile of the sea and a small distance from the Rivers Slower (sic) and Avon. The situation is dry and healthy within a short distance of the sea and commanding fine views of the sea. the vale of Avon, and the New Forest".

After saying that the House was ten miles from Wimborne, eight from Poole, twelve from Ringwood and fourteen from Lymington, the notice continued, "It is in a respectable and polite neighbourhood and in the vicinity of stag, fox and hare hounds and within four miles of a bathing machine and fine sands". This latter would no doubt refer to sea bathing at Mudeford which at that date was a seaside resort. The whole estate was said to consist of about four hundred and fifty acres of which two hundred and twenty acres were available for immediate possession, the remainder being let on leases. The House and the estate were bought by Sir George Tapps, of Hinton Admiral; during the next fifty years the House was leased to a succession of tenants.

Stourfield House, stated to have been the first gentleman's mansion to be built on the heath between Christchurch and Poole, stood in spacious grounds with a greenhouse and dovecote adjoining and there was an underground icehouse. Around the House Mr. Bott planted numbers of trees, and laid out a parkland in front of it, where the present New Park Road runs. The house was strongly built of red brick, with gabled roof, and had a flight of steps leading up to the front door. A similar flight led up to the entrance on the other side of the house. There was a carriage drive from the main road. It was stated later that the House and Estate had cost in the region often thousand pounds, an immense sum of money in the mid 18th century. The extensive estate and farmland extended down to the river valley as far as about the present Cranleigh Road. The House stood in a prominent position, so that mariners' charts of about 1790 advised sailors to get a line of sight from a cottage at Wick to Stourfield House in order to enter Christchurch Harbour.