Book Review

Marsh Court – the Missing Chapters

by Francis James
2015, Old Bakehouse Publications £16
Reviewed by Valerie Joynt

Marsh Court, that Lutyens-designed mansion which overlooks the marshes of the River Test below Stockbridge, has recently been restored (with input from the HGT) after a long period of mixed care and ownership. The history of its inception under owner Horace Johnson and Edwin Lutyens is well documented but this little book (80 pages) adds background and quirky details which bring the story of the mansion to life. The author, who lived in Stockbridge, has conducted his own research interviewing local residents who have memories to share. As an old boy of the prep school which occupied Marsh Court from 1947-1974 he knows the house and grounds well and introduces the reader to personal details which bring the house alive. He writes in an easy conversational style which belies the depth of historical detail in the story.
This is not a book about the gardens, they are only occasionally mentioned, but HGT researchers will be aware that understanding the ownership of a property is often the key to appreciating its development. As the Research Group turns its attention to the Test Valley, I am sure that they will be interested to read this book.