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East of St. Edmund's church is the site of the college of priests founded in 1269 to serve it by Bishop de la Wylye. After the college was dissolved, its property in Salisbury was sold by the Crown to William St. Barbe, a layman who had been the last provost. In 1549 he sold it to John Beckingham, a Salisbury merchant who already held a lease of the college premises from the former provost. In 1575 Beckingham's son Henry sold the college house to Giles Estcourt, whose descendants held it until 1660. The south wing of the late 16th century building retains plasterwork that includes the Escourt arms.


In that year Sir Giles Estcourt sold the house to Sir Wadham Wyndham of Norrington in Alvediston.  In 1670 the house still retained its Elizabethan or Jacobean appearance, but c. 1700 the long two-storied south front with its two projecting staircase wings and central two-storied porch was refaced in red brick with stone dressings. In the later 18th century a park of over 40 acres. was made on the north by Henry Penruddock Wyndham (d. 1819). At the same time the house was extended on the north side by architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell; the interior was remodelled and the central feature was replaced by a classical porch. At the west end two stone-mullioned windows survive from the original building. The present staircase was added with its mahogany handrail and the stained glass panel, bearing the arms of Wyndham, near the top. Eminent landscape gardener Richard Woods (1716 - 1793) was commissioned to prepare designs for the garden.


The property remained in the Wyndham family until 1871, when the greater part was sold. Two years later the house and some land was bought by the Revd. George Hugh Bourne who used it for some years as a school, and later as a private house with a large Victorian extension to the north. During the First World War the college was used for quartering officers and the Rev. Bourne organised a Peace Tea in 1919 for infant school children. The property was willed to Allan Cyprian Bourne (barrister) in 1926. There appears to have been a private hospital in 1926 but In 1927 the corporation purchased the house and its extensive grounds to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the city, and it has since been used as the Council House.

In 1974 the house became the head office of Salisbury District Council. Architects Stanton Williams were appointed in 2004 to re-develop Bourne Hill so that the fragmented council offices could be centralised. In 2009 however, Wiltshire Council became a unitary authority and took over responsibility. The offices, including a re-developed garden, were opened in 2010 and the Salisbury police station was transferred to the ground floor in 2014.

In the grounds are the 15th-century porch removed by Wyatt from the north transept of the Cathedral in the 18th-century and the only remaining portion of the city rampart.

The house has been referred to as The Mansion, Bourne Hill House, The College, Wyndham House and Wyndham's College Park.

1873 plan - vegetable garden now the car-park.

 Above, Wood's original plan reproduced in a guide of 1927 and followed by English Heritage's plan from before the new offices were built.


In June 2016 I walked through the garden, saw what a state it was in and contacted Wiltshire Council. In August SGV got the go-ahead to proceed.

For more historic information please use the following link.


Below is a screenshot taken from a leaflet dated 1938 sent us by Spencer Mulholland.


Bernice Booth writes: The black and white photo is the way I remember the garden when i moved here, so mid eighties. The colour one is just as the work on the building began, early noughties maybe?

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