2003: Family wins approval for manor house work

Well-known Purbeck family, the Scotts, have won permission for a series of alterations to an historic manor house they hope to make their family home. The former owners of Encombe House, which was sold for a reported £16 million, plan to set up home at Afflington Manor Farm between Corfe Castle and Swanage.

Proposals for a complex and wide-ranging package of alterations have been the subject of 18 months of negotiations with planning officers at Purbeck district council. The grade II listed former manor house was originally a 17th-century courtyard house – it was more recently used as accommodation for farm workers. Members of the planning board agreed to the removal of 19th-century partitions – provided they are surveyed and recorded – to make way for a “manorial chamber”. Permission was also given for a swimming pool, with the conversion of pigsties to boiler and changing rooms. Members of the planning board visited the site before making their decision on the cumulative effects of a wide-ranging series of proposed alterations.

Cllr Elizabeth Rudd said: “I think we are really lucky to have an applicant willing to spend the money and the will to do this. This building has been vacant for a month and there is already damp in it,” she added. “There have been lots of historical and archaeological reports and negotiations that have been going on.” Several councillors raised concerns about the building’s current three-storey staircase but it was not part of the set of proposals needing their decision. Cllr Julie Wheeldon said: “I was amazed how shambolic (the house) was and what a tremendous task it is for the people having to restore this.”

Daily Echo (Bournemouth), Tuesday 2 December 2003

2003: Golden Reunion

Old memories were relived and stories shared when a golden couple took a step back in time to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

The entire wedding party who watched Greta and Terry Hardy from Kingston marry at Betchworth in Surrey in 1953 reunited to commemorate the couple’s 50th anniversary.Even the bridesmaid Ann Robinson, pageboys twins David and Christopher Taylor – who were just three at the time – and best man Michael Hillier attended. The appearance of London-based Michael at the bash at the Springfield Country Hotel proved to be an extra-special surprise for the couple who had not seen him since 1954.

The idea of celebrating their golden wedding in the presence of all of their old friends and family was the idea of Terry. And despite the hard work that he put in trying to locate the whereabouts of all of the 85 guests the couple believe it was well worth the effort.

“It was absolutely fantastic, really superb,” said Greta, 70. “It was a beautiful evening and we were amazed that so many people made the huge effort to be there. It was an occasion to get all our family and friends together again which so rarely ever happens.”

Bournemouth Echo, Tuesday 14 October 2003

2002: Listed estate house bought for £16m

One of the most expensive country estates ever to come on the market in Dorset has been sold.

Encombe House, which lies in a secluded valley in Purbeck, is believed to have been bought by successful American merchant banker Charles McVeigh for £16 million – £1 million more than its asking price.


Charles McVeigh

It is only the fourth time the grade-II listed country house set in 2000 acres of magnificent coastal grounds famed for its shooting opportunities has changed hands.

The estate includes St. Aldhelm’s Head, Chapmans Pool and Swyre Head, three lakes, 60 acres of formal garden, 12 cottages, swimming pool and a Grecian style temple.

The house includes six reception rooms, a galleried hall, library-cum-snooker room and 12 principal bedroom suites.

Prestigious estate agents FPD Savills were called in earlier this year to sell the property for the Scott family who had owned the estate since 1807. [The accompanying photo showed the previous owners Rupert and Sophie Scott.]

A Savills spokesman confirmed the house had been sold but refused to confirm the new owner. She said: “Because of confidentiality agreements we are legally bound not to make any comment on who the new owner is but we can definitely say it has been sold. We can also say there was considerable interest in this property.”

However national newspaper reports have revealed it to be Mr McVeigh who is one of the longest serving and most popular merchant bankers in the City. He began trading before the Big Bang date when the stock exchange was computerised. He is now co-chairman of Schroder Salomon Smith Barney.

Bournemouth Daily Echo, 9 August 2002

2002: Historic ‘cathedral’ in £15,000 repairs shock

A landmark Purbeck church needs its roof replaced – forcing church leaders to launch an urgent fund-raising appeal. More than 40 large tiles made of Purbeck stone fell from the north roof of Kingston church overnight on January 6. Homeowners living nearby raised the alarm when they discovered the wreckage in the morning and surveyors later discovered wooden pegs holding the tiles in place had rotted away.

St James, Kingston, known as the cathedral of Purbeck, is described as one of the best churches designed by distinguished Victorian architect G E Street – the same man who designed the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London. The church dates back to 1880 and is a grade one listed building. Initial estimates for repairs total some £15,000 -to repair the north side of the roof alone.

Rector of the parishes of the Purbeck Hills, the Rev Robert Watton, said: “Now that the scaffolding has gone up it is quite apparent the whole roof will have to be done. The scaffolding is preventing more tiles from falling off. We still have access to the church – there is no damage inside.”

Built of Purbeck stone and Purbeck marble, the church was originally built in order to counteract the effects of the recession of the 1870s by creating work for local people. It is a landmark building and on a clear day it can be seen from as far away as Poole.

Anyone who can help towards fund-raising is urged to contact Mr Watton on 01929 422559. He said: “This is a distinguished Victorian church building in a parish of 100 souls. It is very expensive to run and with no endowments the only way we get money to run it is through fund-raising activities. Encombe Fete is our biggest fund- raising event of the year but this year it was a wash-out – we normally gross between £13,000 to £14,000 but this year the fete raised well below £5,000, so this has come as a double blow.”

The church is known as the cathedral of Purbeck because of the building’s dimensions. Architect G E Street also designed St Peter’s church in central Bournemouth.

Bournemouth Echo, Friday 18 January 2002

2001: Lord it up by buying a local title

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a titled aristocrat, the chance could be yours – if you’re prepared to pay the right price.

A number of Lordship titles based in Purbeck are up for sale at auction and prices are expected to fetch around £8,000.

Among the feudal titles available are the Lordships of Stoborough, Langton Wallis, Affrington and Worgret.

The Lordship of Worgret lies in the borough of Wareham and the title is being offered for sale by the daughter of the third and last Baron Alington. As title holder your manor would include one of the oldest churches in the country, St Mary’s – the supposed burial place of Anglo Saxon kings. It also covers a number of ancient barrows where Bronze Age burial urns have been found.

The Manor of Stoborough is believed to have once been part of Wareham Priory. An account of priory possessions during the time of Henry VIII includes assized rents in ‘Stowbarowe’ to the value of 9s2 and a half d. The title was acquired by John Scott, third Earl of Eldon, who then passed it to his second son Sir Ernest Stowell Scott KCMG who died in 1953. It is being offered for sale by this branch of the family – David Eldon Scott, a great nephew of Sir Ernest still lives at Encombe House, Corfe Castle.

The Manor of Langton Wallis lies at the west end of the parish of West Langton. It was probably the ‘Langetone’ which at the Domesday Survey in 1086 belonged to the wife of Hugh Fitz-Grip. It was acquired by the third Earl of Eldon in the 19th century.

The Manor of Afflington just south east of Corfe Castle was sold to Lord Chancellor Eldon in 1822 and is now up for sale by his descendents.

All the titles are being auctioned by private treaty sale by London based Manorial Auctioneers – one of several companies selling titles around the country. They can be contacted on 020 7582 1588.

Bournemouth Echo, Saturday 29 December 2001

1994: Church re-organ-ised

A Purbeck church is to re-open to the public after a major two-year restoration of its organ.

A special concert to mark the completion of the £30,000 plus restoration is being held at St. James, Kingston, on Wednesday. This will feature internationally-renowned organist Peter Hurford.

Kingston rector the Rev. Robert Watton said: “For two years the church has virtually been unusable during the restoration.”

The organ has a noted tonal design and high quality pipework some of which is attributed to the Frenchman, Cavaille-Coll. During the restoration parts of the organ filled much of the church. Services were held in the choir stalls.

The organ was installed when St. James church was built in the 1870s. The church was the work of architect George Street, who designed London’s law courts. It has been descibed as having “the perfect Victorian church interior”. The third Earl of Eldon is said to have spared no expense in the building of the church in local stone. It may have been constructed as a memorial to the first earl, John Scott, who was Lord Chancellor for 25 years.

Tickets for Wednesday evening’s recital, which will include works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Franck and Bournemouth composer Percy Whitlock, are £5. The concert strarts at 8pm.

1991: Obituary: Ernest SANSOM

SANSOM – On May 1st 1991 peacefully at Elmwood Grove Retirement Home, Ernest aged 84 lately of Kingston, Corfe Castle widower of Hilda, father of Colin and to Elaine grandfather of Karen and Claire, and great grandfather of Simon. He will be sadly missed by all his family and friends. Funeral service to be held at St James Church Kingston on Thursday May 9th at 2.30pm followed by burial in the Churchyard. Flowers or donations if preferred for the Poole Hospital Kidney Unit c/o James Smith FD, 60a Kings Road, Swanage.

[Obituary notice courtesy of Claire Hawker, granddaughter of Henry Ernest ‘Ern’ Sansom]

1991: Obituary: Hilda SANSOM

SANSOM – On February 16th 1991 peacefully in Poole Hospital, Hilda aged 86 years lately Kingston, Corfe Castle, dealy loved wife of Ernest, mother of Colin and to Elaine, grandmother of Karen and Claire and Great Grandmother of Simon she will be sadly missed by all her family. Funeral Service to be held at St James Church Kingston on Monday February 25th at 2pm followed by burial in the churchyard. Flowers or if preferred donations for The British Heart Foundation or Parkinsons Disease Society may be sent to Tapper Funeral Service, 32/34 Parkstone Road, Poole.

[Obituary notice courtesy of Claire Hawker, granddaughter of Hilda Sansom]

1967: Obituary – Captain John Docwra-Rogers

DOCWRA-ROGERS. On Sept 20 1967, peacefully at Christchurch Hospital, Captain John Docwra-Rogers aged 83 years. Royal Artillery (Retd.), M.B.E., Knight of St John and for 33 years Sword Bearer to that Order, of 10, Cavendish Road, Bournemouth, and formerly of Corfe Castle. “Under the shadow of the sword is paradise” R.I.P. Requiem mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Bournemouth, on Monday Sept.25, at 12.15 p.m., followed by burial at Kingston, Dorset. Flowers may be sent to Deric S Scott Ltd., funeral directors, Portman Lodge, 755, Christchurch Road, Boscombe Bournemouth 34311

1940: Funeral of Mr H. Uphill

The death occurred in the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Friday of Mr. Harry Uphill, who lived at the Bell Hotel, Uckfield. He was 46 years of age, and was a native of Kingston, Dorset. He went to Uckfield about 25 years ago, prior to which he was at Heathfield for a short time. A keen sportsman, he was in his younger days a member of the Heathfield Football club and the Belmont rovers, the latter being the old Wednesday Club at Uckfield. He was a playing member, and on the committee of both clubs. During the Great war he served with the 5th (Cinque ports) Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, and was known among his friends as “the old 8th Platoon.” He was one of the original members of the Cinque Ports  and United Services Club at Uckfield, and served on the committee. While at Uckfield, Mr. Uphill was employed by Mr. T. H. Barford in his outfitters’ shop.

The funeral was on Wednesday, the body being cremated at the Brighton Crematorium in the morning, and the ashes brought to Uckfield for interment in the cemetery in the afternoon. The rector of Uckfield (the Rt. Rev. C. J. G. Saunders) officiated, and members of the Cinque Ports and United Services Club lined up at the entrance to the cemetery.

The chief mourners were Mr. and Mrs. George Uphill, of Broadstone, Dorset, Mr. Arthur Uphill, of London (brothers and sister-in-law), Mrs. Chiles, of Swindon, and the Misses Agnes and Frances Uphill, of Wimbourne (sisters), Mrs. Lily Uphill (sister-in-law).

Others present were Mr. J. McCall, Mr. F. Simmonds, Mr. T. V. Barford, Miss Barford, Miss Wilmshurst, Mr. J. Jarvis, Mr. E. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. S. Bussey, Mr. G. R. Grantham, Mr. H. Fox, Mr. S. Saunders, Mr. R. J. Rogers, and Mr. R. Forbes.

Floral tributes were sent from Fred, Nell and Joyce (Bracknell); Ciss, Mabel & George (Swindon), George, Bella and Arthur (Broadstone); cousins Rachel and Gertrude; Agnes, Jim and Lil; Arthur; Fred, Fairy and family; fellow members of the United Services Club; Uckfield branch of the Old Comrades Association 5th Battalion (C.P.) Royal Sussex; Thomas H. Barford; Diff and Sam; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lockyer; the Misses Wilmshurst, Hardisty and Thompson; H.J. Ridley; all at Rockville.

Sussex Agricultural Express, 26 January 1940