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Built in the 1720s West Green House has had a number of illustrious owners and tenants, including General Henry “Hangman” Hawley, famous for his brutality to the Scots after the Battle of Culloden ( He is buried up at St Mary’s Church – see the section on Churches for further information). Evelyn, Duchess of Wellington perfected the gardens during the early twentieth century and it was eventually left to the National Trust in 1957 by Sir Victor Sassoon.
Tenant Lord McAlpine had recently moved out when in 1990 the IRA planted a bomb at the property causing massive damage. The National Trust repaired the building and interior, leaving the gardens to a new tenant Marylyn Abbott, a world renowned garden designer, who took up residence in 1993. Since her arrival she has transformed the grounds, creating a breathtaking vision, which has to be seen to be appreciated fully.
“These gardens have been painstakingly restored to reflect the beauty of their 18th century origins. The uniquely coloured plant combinations of the formal gardens are complemented by the decorative potagers and their ornamental fruit cages, making an exciting architectural statement within the original walls” – taken from www.gardens-guide.com
Please note that West Green House is NOT open to the public. For the 2010 season, the gardens are open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday until 19 September from 11am - 4.30pm and there is a special Midsummer Music day in the garden on Sunday 27 June.
For further information please visit www.westgreenhouse.co.uk
Just outside of the Parish of Hartley Wintney lies Bramshill House, a Jacobean mansion standing in 269 acres of parkland. Viewed from the Bramshill side of Hazeley Heath the house stands proudly in the landscape. The heath is also an excellent view point to see the white deer that graze the parkland.
In the fourteenth century, it was the home of Thomas Foxley, who rebuilt Windsor Castle for the Crown. He appears to have used masons from Windsor to erect a small castle at Bramshill in 1327.
In 1605, Edward Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche of Harringworth, purchased the property, demolishing a large part of the building and creating the Bramshill house of today. This was completed in 1612. The building included both a chapel and priest’s hole.
In 1622, while hunting in the park, George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury accidentally shot and killed one of the keepers with his cross-bow. It almost caused his downfall.
In 1699, the property was purchased by Sir John Cope whose family continued to live there until 1935. Bramshill is well known amongst ghost hunters as it is said that the house in haunted by the spirit of Sir John's eldest daughter, known as the Mistletoe Bough ghost. It is believed that on her wedding day she wanted to play a game of hide and seek but her family and guests never found her. Years later her body was found inside an old trunk that could only be unlocked from the outside, by a servant in an unused part of the house.
After Word War II, the exiled King Michael and Queen Ana of Romania lived at Bramshill.
In the 1950s the estate became a Police training college and remains as such today.
Elvetham Hall was first noted in 1426 when it became the home of the Seymour family. The house was passed down through generations and during the Tudor period the family was prominent within the royal court. Edward Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII and mother of Edward VI), became Lord Protector to the boy King after the death of Henry VIII and was eventually behead for high treason in 1551.
Edward's brother Thomas married Catherine Parr – Henry VIII’s widow and he too was beheaded for high treason after becoming embroiled in scandalous liaisons with the then Princess Elizabeth. After his death, his estates were forfeited but eventually restored to his son Edward, by now created Earl of Hertford.
Edward, Earl of Hertford married the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey. Queen Elizabeth only heard of the bigamous marriage when Catherine became pregnant and the Queen reacted with great fury by sending them to the Tower of London. Eventually both were released.
In order to regain favour and to have his children legitimised, Edward entertained the Queen at Elvetham in 1591. This lavish entertainment lasted four days for which a range of luxurious pavilions were built, near the house, to accommodate Queen Elizabeth and her retinue of 500. The Oak tree she planted to commemorate the occasion still stands today and is now more than 32 feet in circumference.
On Edward's death the house passed to his grandson, William Seymour, who became Marquis of Hertford and Duke of Somerset. In 1649 he sold Elvetham to Sir Robert Reynolds, Solicitor General of the Commonwealth whose daughter married her first cousin, Reynolds Calthorpe. After her death he married again. The daughter of his second marriage married Sir Henry Gough.
The original house that Queen Elizabeth visited no longer exists having burned down in 1840. Rebuilt on the same site in 1860, the new house, developed into the present mansion by Frederick, 4th Baron Calthorpe. In 1953 Sir Richard Calthorpe sold the house and today it is a hotel and conference centre.
The original workhouse of the early nineteenth century was located on the site of the current Hartley Wintney Golf Course. The Hartley Wintney Poor Law Union was formed on 8th April 1835. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, representing its constituent parishes which included Hartley Wintney, Bramshill, Crondall, Dogmersfield, Elvetham, Eversley, Grewell, Hartley Wintney, Heckfield, Mattingley with Hazeley, Odiham, Rotherwick, South Warnborough, and Winchfield. Initially, the existing workhouse was used with alterations and enlargements to the building carried out the following year in 1836.
In 1871, a new workhouse was erected at Pale Lane, Winchfield, just outside of Hartley Wintney Parish. Designed by Edmund Woodthorpe of London, the building cost £11,739 and accommodated 120 inmates. The workhouse later became Winchfield Public Assistance Institution and then Winchfield Hospital. The buildings were converted to housing in 1985.