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HCC Site ID: 1034 Parish: Lymington
Designations: House LB II Area:
Access: No Public Access Ownership: Private

Location and site

Yaldhurst is a villa style house with a few acres of land situated to the north of the Lymington to Sway Road at Upper Pennington. The top storey commanded views of the Isle of Wight, which were not seen during the occupancy of the ‘Forest Crafts’ ladies as the stairs were far too dangerous to climb. Land to the south of the house is now a local recreation ground. Cowley Farm borders the west side, and Yaldhurst Lane is on the east.

Historic Development

The first record of Yaldhurst dates from the Domesday, when it was included in the Highcliff, Beckley and Hinton Hundred.  The name may be all that remains of a lost village, although there are doubts as to the latter’s exact location.
It is not known when the house was built, but parts of the farmhouse date back 300/400 years. Considerable renovations to the farmhouse were made in the 18th/19th centuries; and the Forbes carried out major building works in the early 20th century, when possibly two storeys were added.  At that time it was an estate of 48.5 ha (120 acres).
According to Hampshire Treasures, the house has painted brick walls with timber eaves, slate below the present eaves, slate roof, and six irregularly spaced and sized windows.  A later extension had a Gothic window, also porch, lantern and dormers.  The interior, remodelled in 18th/19th centuries, had a staircase with iron balusters and ramped handrail.  There was an ornate plaster fireplace.
In 1924 the pleasure gardens and grounds were well timbered and included two tennis lawns, rock garden, rose pergola, herbaceous borders, orchard and kitchen garden, the whole totalling 1.6 ha (4 acres).  The tennis courts no longer exist and are now part of the extension to the recreation ground.  There is still  (1996) an  open area in the front of the house with clumps of rhododendron and other shrubs.  Some fine trees border the drive from Yaldhurst Lane, which at one time may have been part of the main driveway to the house.  An enclosed garden is on the north side of the house and includes a pond.
In the early 19th century, Sir George Pretyman Tombie, who was a Bishop of Winchester, owned the land, which was included in his purchase of the Buckland Estate in 1802.  Little is known until the Forbes residency early this century.  Admiral Sir Hubert Brand had a short occupancy in the 1920s, when he spent a considerable sum on the garden.  The Smith family acquired the house from the Admiral.  One of the brothers, G O Smith, was a famous cricketer, who retired to Yaldhurst in 1932.  In 1945 a Dr and Mrs Hamish Allan purchased the house as a holiday home and 6.5 ha (16 acres), which they retained for 21 years.  Each of the last two owners sold some of the land, and it was the Smith’s that sold the land to the south of the house to the local council.  Rosemund Douglas and Janet Foster became residents in 1966 from which they started their business ‘Forest Crafts’.  In the storm of 1987 11 large lime trees fell and a large oak in the drive.  It was shortly after this that the ladies sold the house.

Current Descripton

It now appears to be a private residence.

Yaldhurst is an early 20th century garden and small park.

HGT Research 1996





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