The Mount 1844 and beyond
Bishopstoke Park is being developed on the site of what was a large Victorian 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”. The Twynam family had been landowners in Bishopstoke since 1680.
In 1834, Henry Twynam established a charity to perpetuate the family name and provide fuel and clothes to be distributed to the poor of the parish in December each year. This charity still exists and one of the trustees is the Rector of Bishopstoke. The deeds, records and papers relating to this charity are still kept in the parish.
The arrival of the railway, together with the attraction of living in a scenic, rural community, encouraged a number of wealthy families to choose Bishopstoke for their place of residence. In his book, “A History of Hampshire”, published in 1838, Robert Mudie described Bishopstoke as “a rich parish, being beautifully situated… several good houses are scattered about; the grounds are very rich; the whole sheltered from every angry wind; and altogether it is difficult to find, or even imagine, a sweeter place”.
Grand houses, like “Stoke Hill Cottage”, were constructed in Bishopstoke during the middle 1800s with admirals, generals, colonels and majors, as well as wealthy businessmen forming the core of the socially elite residents in the village.
By Chris Humby of the Bishopstoke History Society.