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Conservation Area

Breamore Designated in 1981, Breamore is the largest conservation area in the District. Groups of farms and cottages are linked by narrow, hedged lanes leading from the extensive water meadows beside the River Avon, around the Marsh and up the western slopes of the valley to the Park. It is a relationship of buildings and landscape which has survived substantially unchanged during the past century. As part of the management of the area The Breamore Project - a partnership between the District and County Councils and English Heritage - was set up to grant-aid the repair of historic buildings, enabling many buildings to stay in their present form and use. The openness of the area means that buildings are visible from all directions and outbuildings and backs are as important as the fronts.

Brumore 'the moor or marsh covered with broom' was part of the royal manor of Rockbourne at the time of the Domesday survey. Apart from periods of royal ownership three families have dominated Breamore since 1302; the Courtenays, Dodingtons, and after 1748 to the present day, the Hulse family. St Michael's Priory, founded in 1130 by the de Redvers formed a separate manor until its dissolution in 1536 when the manors were joined together. The royal connection may account for the exceptional quality of the Saxon church of St Mary (Grade I), which heads an impressive list of around 90 listed buildings of all types, including four Grade II*. These range from Breamore House and its associated buildings through domestic and agricultural buildings of all sizes to road bridges, a telephone box and the village stocks. Together with many other buildings of historic interest these give the village its distinctive character.

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These are key features in the conservation area:

  • Built of flint and stone, St Mary's Church (Grade I) is probably the most important Anglo-Saxon monument in Hampshire. The cruciform plan with smaller, lower transepts is particularly characteristic of early Christian churches.
  • Breamore House (Grade II*) retains its late Elizabethan E-plan despite a serious fire in 1856. The Park is included on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.
  • Upper Street and the cottages at the entrance to the Park illustrate the unique character of the village.
  • The landscape and its management forms a very important aspect of the Area; the Marsh - a Site of Special Scientific Interest - is an important surviving manorial green on which goose and cattle grazing persists. It supports a near-unique group of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants.
  • The flood plain forms part of the Avon Valley Environmentally Sensitive Area, designated in 1993, with the aim of conserving and enhancing the landscape, wildlife and historic interest of the area. Its open, wet land is dominated by the groups of willows alongside the ditches of the water meadow system.

These are some to the things that make Breamore special - they need to be looked after:

  • History
    The evidence of Estate influence over the layout and appearance of the buildings
  • Buildings
    Extensive number of timber-framed buildings - both cruck and box frames - with brick and wattle and daub infill in cottages and weatherboarding on agricultural buildings
    Range of roofing materials - longstraw thatch, clay tile and slate
    Different styles of cast iron windows
  • Archaeology
    St Michael's Priory - a Scheduled Ancient Monument
    Evidence of shrunken settlements such as Outwick and South Charford
  • Landscape/Townscape
    Scattered groups of farms and cottages
    Narrow lanes with hedges on the higher land above the Marsh
    Parkland around Breamore House
    Water meadows which retain visible evidence of extensive traditional water management
  • Setting
    Views across the Marsh
    Views in and out of the area across the water meadows and the River Avon
  • Potential for enhancement
    The old railway station


Updated: 1 May 2015
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