The former park of Fernhill is situated on rising ground to the west of Wootton Creek overlooking Wootton Bridge. The main dwelling was situated at the western end of the site on the highest ground. The eastern boundary of the site abuts onto the former millpond associated with Wootton Tide Mill, with the estuary of Wootton Creek and the Solent to the north. A small portion of the site, at its eastern end, falls within the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
One of the two entrance routes to Fernhill was at the western end of the site. A drive entered the estate from the road south of Wootton High Street, now Station Road, and originally ran to the west of the house before continuing southward where it forked in two, the eastern track terminating at the southern boundary of the park and the western track continuing to join Packsfield Lane (O.S. 1793/4). A lodge is marked on the (Ordnance Survey 1st edition 25 inch to 1 mile map of 1862), to the west of the drive, close to its junction with Station Road. A stone pier survives at the carriage entrance to the house leading from the western drive, beside which the coach house was situated.
Development of the eastern end of the site adjacent to Wootton Millpond for recreational use seems to have commenced in the 1930s as this area was known as ‘Lakeside’ and the O.S. map 1939 shows a tennis court and swimming pool with a large building to the north. The ‘Lakeside Country Club’, ‘Lakeside Inn’, car park, swimming pool, tennis courts, chalets and a camping ground were shown on the O.S. of 1972. In the 1990s the chalets were removed and Lakeside Inn was replaced with another building called ‘The Boathouse’ but the holiday park ceased to function. There were separate planning applications to redevelop the site for holiday use and leisure development on the former Lakeside site in 2001 but no redevelopment has taken place up to April 2002 [See article under Holiday/Lakeside].
The main area of former parkland between the residential caravan site and Lakeside was in agricultural use until 2001 when it was acquired for development as a Woodland Burial site. Today, Fernhill provides a peaceful resting place, with spectacular countryside and Lakeland views. The area abounds in specimen trees, wildlife and fauna, including magnificent mature oaks.
The park offers an appealing and meaningful alternative to conventional burial and cremation choices. It seeks to provide for the emotions and spiritual needs of both the bereaved and those who wish to plan for the future in their own lifetime. Fernhill Park offers the perfect environment for quite contemplation and the remembrance of loved ones.
The Park is a haven for wildlife and natural plant growth, reinforcing the concept of renewal of life.
“Hedgerows all alive with birds
and large white butterflies
With look as if the Mayflower had caught life
And flown forth upon the wind”
E.B.BrowningThis page was last edited on: 4th March, 2015 06:16:25