Forres Sandle Manor Independent Preparatory School

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HCC Site ID: 1082 Parish: Sandleheath
Designations: CA, House LB II Area: 14 ha in 1936 21 ha
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Forres Sandle Manor Independent Preparatory School

Location and Site

Sandle Manor lies approximately one mile north west of Fordingbridge, close to the western boundary of Hampshire. The land rises gently from the valley of the River Avon, and the mixed subsoil of gravel, clay and sand supports both arable farming and woodland. Local brickyards were in almost continuous production from Roman times until the last ones were closed in the 1960s. To the west of Fordingbridge the descriptive word ‘Sand’ has been included in many of the local names but, as can been seen on both old and modern maps, they are spelt in various ways, Sandel, Sandle, Sandhall, Sandhill, and also some combined with Heath, so that it is not always clear in the archive material which property is being referred to.

Historic Development

The manor of Sandhill is recorded from the 13th century, (VCH page p.567), and would have included what is now the land occupied by Forres Sandle Manor Preparatory School. There have been many owners since then, but until the nineteenth century, it is not clear from either early maps or the VCH, that it is precisely that same area. In 1840 the tithe map apportionments gives John Coventry as the owner of Sandhill Manor; at that time it was rented by William Blachford, and lists a Homestead, a House and garden, a Paddock, an Orchard, Dairy House and Garden, Barn and yard, pastures, Arable fields and Woods. (HRO 21M65/F7/93/1). Hampshire Treasures simply lists “…a small farm in the manor of Sandhill, [which] came under many different ownerships” (Hampshire Treasures p.291).
In 1867 John Coventry leased land, which included Sandhill Manor, to Robert Wilson for sporting rights. (HRO 8M59/586). John Coventry died in 1878 and in 1887 his heirs put Sandhill Manor, up for sale. It was described as having “…a substantial and newly erected farmhouse and outbuildings, and 125 acres of land” (HRO 19M95/1). A decade later, part of the Coventry estate was being sold again. On the Ordnance Survey map the Sandle Manor is named as just Manor Farm. (OS 2nd ed.). The property was bought for Lady Katherine Hulse, widow of Sir Edward Hulse, of Breamore House, by Revd. Charles James Hamilton, her relative. It was about this time that the name changed from Sandhill Manor to Sandle Manor.
From 1899 to 1901 the house was greatly enlarged and modernised from a small, possibly Elizabethan, farmhouse to an elegant country house, and the gardens were laid out with a terrace, formal lawns, flower beds, two tennis courts, and a walled garden. (OS 3rd ed.) In September 1910 Lady Hulse was entertaining at Sandle Manor, but for the next few years the property was leased with sporting rights. From 1920 Hugh Money-Coutts, who three years later succeeded his father as 6th Baron Latymer, was the resident of Sandle Manor (Times archive 24 Feb 1920) and in 1926 he sold it with 300 acres, 1 metre of fishing rights, and gardens of 17 acres noted for the Rose Garden and walled fruit and veg garden. (Times archive June 1926). In 1934 Sandle Manor was for sale at the direction of Lt Col. T La Garde Grissell, (Western Daily Press 16 June 1934) but did not sell. A year later the whole estate of 527 acres was advertised again, to be sold in 23 lots. Lot 1 consisted of the Manor House and 52 acres, described as a “Beautifully Equipped Residence … Complete and Modern Offices … Gardens of Exceptional Charm, Parklands and Plantations”. (HRO 35M78/E66). Lot 1 and a few other small lots were bought by Gerald Meakin to rehouse his school, Pembroke Lodge, then at Southborne. Extensive alterations were made to the house and outbuildings, a cricket pitch and football pitches were laid out in the grounds. The school, renamed Sandle Manor Preparatory School, moved in for the Autumn term of 1936. The OS 4th edition of 1947 shows further alterations were made, with additions to the buildings and a swimming pool on the Playing Field. (OS 4th ed).
In the following years improvements continued to be made, a new classroom block was built at the end of the terrace which necessitated the removal of one of the small summer houses. Additional facilities were added by the conversion of some of the former outbuildings, and in 1972 a new swimming pool was built on the terrace. (OS Millennium aerial map 2006)
In 1980 the school celebrated its centenary, it was marked by the planting of several specimen trees and some Quercus rubra to replace the dead Elms that had bordered Marl Lane (OS Landline c2005). The planting was financed by a donation from the Earl of Shaftesbury, a parent. (pers. comm. Shirley Hooley). In 1993 Sandle Manor school was merged with Forres Preparatory School of Swanage, and was renamed Forres Sandle Manor Preparatory school.

Current Description

Forres Sandle Manor is the residence of two Hampshire preparatory schools that were merged in 1993. The Manor house and its outbuildings have been extended and altered during the twentieth century to provide the accommodation and facilities that are necessary for a school, and the grounds adapted to provide facilities for sporting activities. The rose garden noted in the 1930s is no longer extant and the walled garden is not cultivated.


Sandle Manor was built as a small, late ‘Elizabethan’ house in the manor of Sandhill. By the mid nineteenth century it was a farmhouse on the large Fordingbridge estate of John Coventry. In 1898, named Sandle Manor, it was bought for Lady Katherine Hulse of Breamore, the house was extended and modernised and the gardens and parkland improved. In 1935 the house and some of the land was bought to rehouse a preparatory school, alterations and additions were made to the buildings and the grounds equipped with sporting facilities. Later it merged with another school, and is now named Forres Sandle Manor Preparatory School.

HGT Research: August 2012


Hampshire Records Office
21M65/F7/93/1 Tithe map apportionments
8M59/477 Posters, catalogues & notices
105M93/5/56 1890s Drawing of house
35M78/E66 1935 Sale Particulars of Sandle Manor
VCH Vol 1V pp.567-77
1897 OS 2nd ed. 25” 1909 OS 3rd ed. 25”
1947 OS 4th ed. 25”
2005 OS Landline 1:2500
2006 OS Hampshire Millennium Aerial Map
Electronic Sources 25.10.2102 19.10.2012

Our address

Sandleheath No Public Access Click for Disclaimer & copyright
50.932955890306964, -1.8077659606933594

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