The mansion is long gone but will not be forgotten

WINTER SPORTS Skaters on the lake in Leigh Park Gardens with the house on the bank in the distance
WINTER SPORTS Skaters on the lake in Leigh Park Gardens with the house on the bank in the distance
A steam car at Bishops Waltham station about 1910. It was the terminus of the 4.5-mile branch line that connected it to the main line at Botley. It closed to passengers in January 1933.

NOSTALGIA: Hampshire’s long lost branch lines

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No doubt many of you have visited the Sir George Staunton Country Park at Leigh Park and perhaps crossed the road into Leigh Park Gardens.

Many of you might have seen postcards of the house that once stood at the top of the bank overlooking the lake.

Leigh Park House in 1932, but was demolished in 1959 PP5274 PPP-160503-120337001

Leigh Park House in 1932, but was demolished in 1959 PP5274 PPP-160503-120337001

The Gothic-style mansion was built by William Stone in 1865 to the design of Richard Drew. He moved out in 1874 when the Fitzwygram family moved in. The daughter of the owners, Angela, lived in the house until 1935.

During the war it was used by HMS Vernon as an experimental establishment.

The Leigh Park estate was bought from the Fitzwygrams by Portsmouth City Council in 1944 After the war, the building remained empty until it was ordered to be demolished by Portsmouth City Council in 1959.

GRAND Leigh Park House

GRAND Leigh Park House