Bishopstoke Park is being developed on the site of what was a large Victoria estate known simply, for many years, as The Mount. The first house was built on the site in 1844 by Walter Twynam and the property was originally called “Stoke Hill Cottage”.
Introducing The Mount
Bishopstoke Park's stunning centrepiece; The Mount, was originally built in 1844 and has been redeveloped over the years by a number of wealthy owners. Our painstaking refurbishment is the latest evolution of this much-loved building.
It is rumoured that the Rector and Dean of Winchester, Dr Thomas Garnier, who previously owned the Mount estate, was a keen botanist whose enthusiasm we have to thank for the stunning variety of trees around Bishopstoke Park.
Richard Gilman, another notable former resident of the Bishopstoke Mount, was involved in The Great Tea Race of 1866, where clippers laden with tea raced each other from China to London. This momentous event captured the public's fascination, and the now infamous race was eventually won by Gilman's ship; Taeping.
Thanks to Chris Humby of the Bishopstoke History Society, we are able to share with you the history of The Mount.
After returning to England from China around 1858, Richard James Gilman bought Stoke Hill Cottage. He enlarged the estate and extended the accommodation.
The estate was advertised for sale as The Mount, by auction, on 26th July 1870 and was described in the sale catalogue as a “freehold residential property in the healthy and highly esteemed Parish of Bishopstoke".
The gardens of The Mount had been the centre for many social gatherings in the village in the 1860s. Thomas Hargreaves continued to host events for various societies throughout the 1870s and 1880s, including a celebration for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.
Thomas Hargreaves, when in residence at The Mount, was a keen fisherman. In 1874 he was fined after defending what he considered long-standing public rights to fish along the towpath of the Itchen Navigation.
Following the death of Captain Hargreaves in 1891, The Mount estate was advertised for sale. The Morning Post of March 1892 described the house as: “A picturesque residence".
The Mount was purchased by Thomas Atkinson Cotton in 1892, his interest in ornithology led him to develop The Mount into one of the finest natural history museums and aviaries in the county.
After the arrival of the Cottons and their alteration of the house, The Mount once again became the centre for social gatherings in the village. There were many fetes and events held over the years and the marking of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was something special.