20 July

20 July

Today in Gosport’s Past: on 20th July 1955, HM The Queen Mother officially opened Northcott House & the Northcott Close retirement complex. The house and bungalows are set in delightful grounds, which occupy part of the 70 acre grounds of Bury Hall, a splendid mansion, built ready for occupation by 1815. The grounds of Bury Hall originall stretched from The Avenue to some way west of what is now Jellicoe Avenue, and from Bury Road to Village Road, and included several farms. As the years progressed, some of the farms were sold off, and the whole site was split into separate lots for sale as early as 1878.

Bury Hall, c.1815-1945/46.

Bury Hall, c.1815-1945/46.

The Hall itself remained with a fair bit of ground; Bury Hall Lane was built, and marked the new northern boundary of the property. Tha Hall was very much the heart of the Alverstoke area, as many locals had been employed on the farms, and as servants, gardeners, etc over the years. Bury Hall was purchased a few years before World War 2 by Mr G V Northcott, who broke up the estate for development.

 

The war intervened, and Bury Hall became the headquarters of the Local Defence Volunteers (Dad’s Army), and the grounds were the scene of much LDV activity throughout the war. The war took its toll on the old house, and being empty after the cessation of hostilities, much of the Hall was vandalized or stolen, including the lead from the roof. As it was in such a poor state, all that remained was its

 Bomb damage in Bury Hall Lane 1940/41. Jellicoe Avenue can be seen (centre) with the water tower on the right.

Bomb damage in Bury Hall Lane 1940/41. Jellicoe Avenue can be seen (centre) with the water tower on the right.

demolition, but it was decided that a retirement home should be built on ths site as a memorial to those who served in WW2, much as the War Memorial Hospital had done after WW1. Credits to original photographers.

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