The Maisemore Estate

Maisemore Gardens was built in 1962, this history of the Estate was published by The Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust in their Annual Bulletin "The Echo" N0.46 November 2014.

Within Emsworth there are several small areas, each one with an individual identity Hermitage and Lumley are two examples — their history often proudly preserved by its inhabitants. Another of these areas is `Maisemore', the name said to derive from the Welsh for 'big field'. The earliest mention of `Maisemore' found so far is in the Kelly's 1926 Directory. The property is listed as Maisemore Farm, 9 West Road (this was at the west end of West Road on the north side). The occupant at that time was Brigadier Edward F. Trew C.M.G., D.S.O. and the same information was in the 1937 Kelly's; he died in September 1951.
The Maisemore Gardens development lies south of the Havant Road, to the east it runs alongside the back gardens of Beach Road houses and lies to the west of West Road, which gives access to it. A map of 1838 shows the area designated as an Alder Park, suggesting it was then somewhat wet, sloping southwards towards the shore and becoming progressively more marshy. At that time it was also described as 'pasture', probably of poor quality.

Between WW1 and WW2 the area was used as a Riding School, owned by Mr. Edward B. L. Gardiner of 9, West Road, who advertised it in a gold coloured brochure as the Maisemore School of Equitation. It is probable that Mr Gardiner was a relative of Elizabeth Trew (nee Gardiner) who had married the former owner, Brigadier Trew, and to whom probate had been granted. The school had a large covered teaching area with both indoor and outdoor facilities including electric light and well-appointed dressing rooms and became very popular with local children and adults alike.

Mr Gardiner stressed that 'the EDUCATIONAL WORTH of horsem
anship is of importance to boys and girls. Riding is not only of the greatest value to their growing bodies, but above
all, THE CONTROL OF A HORSE develops the essentially English qualities of COURAGE, CONCENTRATION AND PATIENCE'.
Many people still remember the Riding School fondly.

During WW2 Maisemore was taken over by the Searle Aircraft Sheet Metalwork Company, originally a London-based company. It had come to Emsworth to set up a satellite plant in the former Riding School's covered indoor building to escape bomb damage in the capital. George Gray, who had earlier run his small engineering company from Pinedemonium on Bridgefoot Path, was seconded as an engineer to the aircraft industry and sent to Maisemore at the outbreak of WW2. During the war the company had about 40 staff who made vital parts for the 4-engined Stirling bombers, fuel tanks for training aircraft and ammunition boxes. At the end of the war the factory closed and relocated to Newgate Lane, Fareham and is now the Searle Manufacturing Company.

After the war the area lapsed again into poor quality farmland occupied, according to the 1956 Kelly's entry, by R. J. Beal, Growers Services (Emsworth Ltd.), Spraying Contractors, Maisemore Farm, until in April 1960 Havant Borough Council sanctioned its use for residential development and a scheme was put forward by Tonrin Developments, their first build. The area by the water's edge was to have no houses and would be a leisure area for residents with seating and trees and possibly a swimming pool, but after the initial groundwork and receiving detailed planning permission, this original plan was revised.
Because of the sloping nature of the ground it was necessary to raise the level of the ground from the Green southwards and many trucks loaded with builders' rubble were tipping for a long time, even after the first householders had taken up residence at Easter 1962. An early Maisemore resident remembers a group of outbuildings being demolished to the north of the estate whilst the first houses were being built. The retaining wall at the top of the beach is an indication of the extent to which the ground was raised; at high water it flooded to a point about halfway up to the present Green.

Whitehead & Whitehead advertised the estate in the following terms:
`Houses of distinction in a landscape of beauty. The developers have formed a Residents' Association so that the owners of the properties in Maisemore Gardens can maintain the gardens and the estate as a whole to a high standard.

The properties will be sold on 999-year leases at ground rents of only 25s. per annum, and the freehold of the properties will be owned by the Association. The Association will consist only of the residents of MG and each resident will have a share in it. The ground rent payable will be at the discretion of the Association in the upkeep and administration of the communal grounds, dinghy park and the estate as a whole.  By selling the properties in this manner the Developers have given each resident, in common with his neighbours, the control and ownership of the communal grounds and thus the tenure of the properties had advantages which many freeholders do not enjoy'.  The first houses sold fast. The four-bedroomed units were a rarity in 1962. There were also three-bedroom and detached houses with a well-designed layout, central heating, dishwashers and waste-disposers.

The houses were constructed in terrace groups starting with nos. 11-15 (12 being the show house), and then nos. 1-5, followed by nos.70-74 and nos. 6-10. It seems that the general progression was then towards the shore beginning from the north side of the Green. By November 1964 the residents got involved and to this day the Maisemore Gardens estate is, uniquely within this area, under the control of its own Council of Management.
Geoff Higgins, Linda Newell, Judy Reay & Margaret Rogers 2014

NB. Copies of the original Maisemore Gardens plans and prices for the 4-bedroomed house with integral garage (Type 'C') and the 3-bedroomed house with integral garage (Type 'B') and separate garage (Type `E') are in the Museum:  http://www.emsworthmuseum.org.uk


An A4 booklet published in May 2015;  Maisemore Gardens, the Early Years, how Maisemore Gardens Ltd came into being from 1962 to 1968


Maisemore Gardens The Early Years



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Updated:  Sunday, 18 February 2024