Walled kitchen gardens in South Oxfordshire

Bellehatch Park House

Bellehatch Park House is situated just outside the village of Harpsden, just south of Henley-on-Thames. The late 18th century house was the seat of the Liberal politician Cecil Norton, who was created first Baron Rathcreedan in 1916.

From the 1st ed. OS map of 1878, it appears that the garden was trapezium shaped and situated to the rear, the north west of the house. It appears that it was possibly in two parts with a smaller garden, maybe a nursery garden, to the north west and a yard with four buildings to the north east.

In the main garden, a glasshouse is marked on the 1st ed. OS at the top north east corner of the garden and a smaller building at the south west corner. A possible slip is marked along the west wall of the garden (the glasshouse appears to be built into the slip). There is also a path around the garden, crossing north to south and trees are visible.

This survey shows access from the main garden through to a smaller garden at the north east, which has paths and trees and a small building in the north east corner. to the east of the small garden is a long building running from north to south and then various buildings further to the west area.

In the 2nd OS of 1898, two glasshouses are marked in the main garden, in the north east corner close to the earlier building. In the smaller garden, two glasshouses are marked to the west, adjacent to the long building.

The original house is now known as Rathcoffey Lodge. A new house and ornamental garden have been built in the original garden. In the 'second garden' the long shed has been converted to a separate house.

Sources of information