Merchistoun Hall (Qualletts, The Grove, Grove Lodge)

You are here Home  > Lost Historic sites >  Merchistoun Hall (Qualletts, The Grove, Grove Lodge)
Item image

HCC Site ID: 1365 Parish: Horndean
Designations: House LB II Area:
Access: Historic site – Community Centre Ownership: Horndean Community Centre/Horndean
Community Association – Registered Charity

Image: Merchistoun Hall website, January 2015

Location and site

Merchistoun Hall is situated on the Portsmouth Road, Horndean, to the North of Junction 2 of the A3(M).

Historic developmen

Merchistoun Hall, so called by Admiral Charles Napier in mid 19th century after his ancestral home in Scotland, was previously called Quallets, The Grove or Grove Lodge. The estate was gradually built up probably by James Conway and some later owner over several years as land became available as a result of enclosure and changes in the Manor of Chalton. The present house was probably built in the early 19th century, near the site of the original farmhouse, afterwards used as a bailiff’s house, and still surviving. The estate known first as a ‘hunting lodge’ gradually became a ‘gentleman’s’ residence, with hunting available locally and spacious grounds surrounding the house. There is little map evidence concerning the garden except there was a lawn in front of the house. Two locally well-known gardeners, Henry and William Drover, father and son, were employed by Admiral Sir Charles Napier. Henry Drover particularly was known as a chrysanthemum grower. He published a book on chrysanthemum growing, and after having moved to Fareham, supplied the royal family with flowers on the journeys to and from the Isle of Wight. After the death of Admiral Sir Charles’s daughter, the estate had many tenants. Local entrepreneur Maurice Hill seemed to have taken more interest in the house, refurbishing it during his ownership. It was, however, used by the army during the war, and later as a furniture repository.

Current description

The much reduced estate, having suffered from extensive development in the area, was bought by the Horndean Community Association, and developed as a community centre, opening the grounds to the public. The house, stable block, with a much altered farmhouse and part of the kitchen garden wall remain. Three modern houses are built within the old kitchen garden area. An interesting remainder of the estate is the border of trees along the A3, with a small area newly planted into an attractive garden


Hunting lodge to early 19th century gentleman’s residence with spacious grounds; WW11 used by army, later a furniture repository and finally a Community Centre. House and stable block and part of kitchen garden wall remain. Also a border of trees from old estate along A3.
HGT Research,  April 2007


Hampshire Record Office
Partition of personal effects of John Franklin 6M59/1-7 1752
Will of James John PROB11/1859 1836
Hampshire Field Club 65M89/Z290/88
Havant Museum
Catherington Land tax- Quallets Grove 1800
OS map 1810
OS map 2nd ed 25″
OS1933 Sheet LXVIII 6 and 10
50th Anniversary of D-Day
Hampshire hearth tax assessment for 1665 ed E Hughes & P White – Hampshire Record Series 11
Admiral Sir Charles Napier and Merchistoun Hall – Jones S, Fuchsia Publications, 2004
1st ed IS nao 25″ 1868 HCC
OS map 3rd ed 6″ 1909-10 HCC
Waterlooville Library
Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Gazette 24.6.1805
Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Gazette 25.2.1811
Horndean 2000 Barry Stapledon 1999 Parish Council 1999 (Petersfield RDC Minutes)
Westfield Museum, Fareham
Past and Present Book VIII Volume X 1850s
Portsmouth Library
Portsmouth Times and Naval Bazette 1861
Life and Letters of  H Noel Williams 1917
Web sites
www.historical – Piggots cirectory 1844
Harrod’s & Co Directory for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight 1865
www.historical Post Office Directory of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight 1875
Kelly’s Directory 1911

Our address

Horndean Historic site - Community Centre Click for Disclaimer & copyright
50.91059950993176, -1.0048212110996246

Comments are closed.