South Hill Park Gates & Railings
We were commissioned to make new gates, railings, rose arches and handrails all traditionally made in genuine wrought iron for a Heritage Lottery project in Bracknell South Hill Park. The park was awarded a £2.3 million lottery grant that has been used on a restoration programme of its 9.6 hectare grounds. The park lies to the south of Bracknell town centre in Birch Hill.
A brief history of the park:
The mansion at South Hill Park was originally a two storey Italian style building with a Baroque style front entrance and tower and included 30 acres of grounds. It was built in 1760 by William Watts for his retirement from service as a senior official of the Bengal government. It later passed through numerous hands until bought by Sir William Haytor in 1853.
Towards the end of the 19th century Sir William Haytor’s son, Lord Haversham, completely rebuilt the house in brick and Bath stone, incorporating just one wing of the original house. Kelly’s Directory of 1883 refers to South Hill as standing in a park of 800 acres, with four lakes and private terraced gardens, a dramatic change from its size in 1760.
During the 1930s, the house was converted into five luxury flats, before being occupied by the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital, evacuated from Margate, during the war. Since then it has seen further use as flats, BBC recording studios, offices, and laboratories before being opened as an arts centre in October 1973.
Today the house is a Grade II listed building and the site a Grade II Registered Park of Special Historic Interest. The Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England was established by English Heritage.