Will Hall Farm 4891

Basingstoke, England, Hampshire, East Hampshire

Brief Description

Recorded in the Domesday Book, the site lies to the west of Alton on land that contains the source of the River Wey. The farm complex lies near the road in the valley. 600 acres of farmland rise gently away to the north, consisting of woodland, pasture and arable land. The site was noted in the 18th and 19th centuries for its hop growing. Although little remains of the garden, the relationship of the house and farm buildings, which provide an enclosed yard of 16th-century barn, granary and oast houses, give it a special character.

History

The farmhouse was built either in the late-17th or early-18th-century and is sited where an earlier house existed, possibly incorporating part of it. The farm has been in constant use since that time. Some of the farm buildings are now in residential use, and others have been converted into offices.

Detailed Description

The farmhouse was built either in the late-17th or early-18th-century and is sited where an earlier house existed, possibly incorporating part of it. Behind it are a range of four oast houses and a hop kiln, which form the west side of the walled garden. The farmyard next to the house is made up of a complex of buildings including a 16th-century barn, granary and stabling. In front of the house is a small enclosed garden which borders onto Brick Kiln Lane, which led to a brick kiln in use in the 19th century. Between the front garden and the road was a pond, which has returned during the wet autumn of 2000.

Little remains of the garden, but what makes it special is the setting. The main farmhouse remains, and is juxtaposed to the farmyard. The farmyard has a range of buildings including a granary and a 16th-century barn. The farmhouse, barn, oasts, granary and garden walls are Grade II listed.

The land was owned by Winchester College from 1484 but in 2003 the farm complex of six acres was sold to Alton Building Preservation Trust in a back to back deal with a local developer. The main house was restored as a single dwelling, the oast houses converted into two residences and a further two houses made from converted farm buildings. The ancient barn is now an office and three new houses have been built. The site retains some of the feeling of a farm complex.

Features
  • Farm (featured building)
  • House
  • Description: The farm house has been restored as a single dwelling.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Garden Building
  • Description: There are four oast houses, a granary and a hop kiln.
Stable, Garden Wall
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Beech
History

Detailed History

Recorded in the Domesday Book, the site lies to the west of Alton. The farm itself is in a valley near the source of the River Wey and the farmland of 600 acres rises gently away to the north, consisting of woodland, arable and pasture. It was notable for hop growing in the 19th century and well into the 20th century.

One of the longest tenancies was to the Gunner family who farmed there for 200 years from approximately 1700 to 1900. William Terrell Gunner kept a diary beginning in 1845 which chronicles the farming and social life of the times.

Employed all his life by the Gunners was Mr Adams, father of Fanny Adams who was brutally murdered in 1867 and who gave rise to the song Sweet Fanny Adams.

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here
References

Contributors

  • Hampshire Gardens Trust

  • Sheila Carey-Thomas

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