I Should have gone back earlier, but on a glorious Sunday evening for a cycle, I decided to look in to see whats become of the site of Kempshott House.
Also, as hearing about the Canadian 150th Anniversary yesterday, maybe it reminded me about the former Governor who had lived there in the late 18th Century when he retired.
So there is a lot of development carrying on around the Beggerwood area anyway, and this tract next to the golf course is part of that. When I first visited the site, you could wander on the site of old factory units that had been cleared, and by the time of my last blog the site was closed off. The pictures beneath show the same spot, 2 years apart.
The houses are up and people have moved in. I just feel a tinge of sadness most people living there will have no idea what their houses have been built over. Please see my previous blog for a fuller history, but just to summerize for any newcomers, Kempshott Manor was an estate The Prince Regent, Later George IV, (1762 – 1830), was very fond of, and he could conduct his ‘affairs’ in relative privacy. The house was occupied by several prestigous owners through the years, but by the early 20th century upkeep was expensive, and the property was divided up, and eventually became a grain store. The building of the M3 didn’t help matters as it split through the grounds, but by then it’s prestige was faded.
Anyway, whilst I’m there, I want to take one more look at some of the old house outbuildings which still exist. The M3 cuts through the grounds, but footbridge takes you over the motorway. The most prominent building left are the old Stables.
If you carried on walking by the wall it opens out into what would have been the parkland. It lookes lovely on an evening like tonight. Back across the bridge, on the way back, I glanced through what would been the gardens behind the house, and I can see a structure. I can’t get near it this side, but I go back onto the new estate to see if I can find some better access.
The fencing around the edge of the new development suggests to me sadly it’s temporary and they will shoe horn some more houses at a later date. But there is gap (where the white car is parked on the right), where I see something hidden away, and I just wonder if its the last remains of the house, or an outbuilding. Ok, so Its not a wonderful example of archictecture, but it could be our last visable piece of the old house left!
I have said before, Its a pity not more has been done to make residents aware of their local history. Land use changes, but I find it dissapointing that no one would have any idea of of the past unless they do some digging. Examples I have seen include The detailed Kempshott Manor site or the Lost Heritage site.
I don’t have to swipe at the new builds there. Judging by the cars, these properties are a desirable location, but I wish Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council would make more effort to raise awareness to highlight the history! They could have at least made some attempt with the road naming, if not a plaque. The list of owners of Kempshott House, have played a part in wider history beyong Basingstoke and to have it recorded would benefit the town.