Ifold, is two miles from the centre of Loxwood, on the road to Plaistow Village.
In the fifteenth century the Browne family acquired the Manor of Ifold which they held for around two hundred years. In 1596 William Browne, who would become the member of parliament for Haslemere, sold the Manor of “Ivolde alias Ivolls” to John Gratwicke, of Wisborough Green, and by 1678 Ifold Manor had passed to John Cooke of Petworth and then to Henry Barnard also of Petworth.
Thomas Budgens map of 1806 indicates there was a ‘L shaped’ house near Loxwoodhills Pond in Ifold, which is believed to have been a farmhouse dating back to the Browne family in the fifteenth century.
Ifold Manor House & Grounds
At the start of the nineteenth century Edward Napper purchased Ifold Manor and in 1811 he built a substantial manor house on the site of the former farmhouse. Ifold House was orientated north, south, east, west, and positioned in line with the Chapel of Ease in the centre of Loxwood village.
The location of Ifold House was stunning, built on a plateau which provided far-reaching views across the countryside. The front of the house faced south, and the carriage drive up to the door was half a mile long, passed the Gate House, through South Wood and then through an undulating park, which was set against magnificent oaks trees.
The first sight visitors had of Ifold House was from the parkland. It was an impressive, imposing country house. The entrance was via a stone flagged porch which led to the hall with 12ft high ceilings and an open fireplace. The ground floor comprised a morning Room, drawing Room, dining Room, and smoking room. The drawing room had a marble chimneypiece and a circular bay window that overlooked the parkland and the views to Hascombe Hills. The dining room was 24ft x 17ft and doors opened on to a terrace which led to the parklands.
Upstairs there were nine bedrooms a nursery and three bathrooms. There was a separate wing to the east with the domestic areas for the kitchen, scullery, game keepers room, pantry, larder and a dry cellar. Above the domestic wing were four bedrooms and a bathroom.
In the grounds there was a pleasure garden with an ancient Lebanon Cedar as its centre piece, the kitchen garden grew grape vines under glass, and fruit trees which were trained against the 12ft high wall, there was a separate orchard, fruit & vegetable areas and flower borders. The estate also comprised stabling for horses and numerous farm buildings. The River Lox flowed through the grounds close to a 4-acre lake which was stocked with rainbow and brown trout and a boat house was built on the bank. Southland Cottage and Keepers Cottage were part of the Ifold Estate.
When the Wey and Arun Junction canal opened in 1816, the Ifold Estate lands ran down to the tow path giving Edward Napper direct access to the commercial traffic, the industry at Brewhurst Mill and the turnpike road.
The story of Ifold Manor weaves its way from the decision to build the Wey and Arun Canal, through Victorian high society, the bankruptcy of two of its wealthy owners and a remarkable connection with a nationally acclaimed landscape painter. The story of this long-forgotten manor house and the significant impact its owners had on the History of Loxwood will be told by Loxwood History later this year.