Harvest House: Commissioned by the Church of England in the early 1920’s to ‘replace’ the vicarage of the time which is now also a family home and is the much earlier residence directly opposite on the other side of the Lymington Road.
William Ravenscroft, a well known local Edwardian architect of the time was responsible for its design, and it is a classic example of his work. It also boasted one of some 400 gardens designed by the Edwardian horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll.
There are a number of Ravenscroft properties in the village but only three, including Harvest House, have a full first floor. In most of his designs, the houses are more of a dormer style with skilling ceilings.
His houses were built with an east/ west corridor the length of both floors, and he sited the kitchens and service rooms on the north side, and the living areas and bedrooms on the south side. One of the features that many still retain is a stable door. At Harvest House our back door is still a stable door.
Over the years the Church sold off some of the land to the North of the property and at some point the Jekyll garden will have been lost and finally in 1986 the present vicarage was built in the grounds of Harvest House, which was subsequently sold as a family home.
At this point the new owners purchased a small parcel of land to the south east of the property and put in a hard tennis court.
Purchased by the Hall family in 1991, the only major work that we have done has been the addition of a dining room on the north side of the property. The area released is now our drawing room. Our architect has designed his build sympathetically and the house has retained its integrity. With the removal of the tennis court in 2006 in favour of lawn, the fabulous view of the Western Solent that our guests can now also enjoy has been opened up.
Sadly my husband died; my life has moved on and Jon and I have been together now for nine years. Our children are all married and in 2010 Iris, Isobella (Bella) and Joshua were born. Sadly Iris lived for only a few hours, but her sister Rose was born in July 2011. William arrived in August 2013 and November 2013 will welcome yet another little person and so the next generation gathers in strength and numbers!
Family aside, Jon and I share a love of classic cars. We are fortunate to be the current chatelaines of a Series 2 E-type roadster; a Citroen DS 21 super; in the Porsche stable our pre A 356’s include a speedster; a model 52 coupe, and a rare model 52 cabriolet. A 1950 coupe and a 1951 coupe are awaiting restoration and should keep Jon occupied for the next two or three years. For any like minded guests, we should be happy to show you our toy shop.
Bob and Jim, our two lurchers may come and introduce themselves. Jim is a young dog and can be a little mischievous, but they are well behaved and will leave if asked.
My home for 23 years and Jon’s for some nine now, with the sale of the most demanding of my businesses; Jon’s decision to semi retire; children all flown the nest; it’s present use as a B&B makes good sense. Having been in business since my early 20’s I have to divert my energy somewhere so when Jon and I are on our own and in UK it makes sense to utilise the potential of this lovely house and share it with others. We have discovered that we not only work quite well together, but we also thoroughly enjoy you, our guests.
So saying, we are always open to take bookings, but Harvest House as a bed and breakfast operates from around the second week in April to the end of the first week in November. We are open in December, but only for bookings of four persons or more. We are sure you will appreciate that to fire up this lovely but impractical Edwardian home for an occasional night in the winter is financially bonkers.
In addition, our love of classic cars means that we also close at other times of the year depending on the historic rallies we choose to attend. We do know these dates twelve months ahead so any further bookings you make will not be compromised.
We have lovely grounds which, weather permitting we hope you will enjoy, but the pool, pool house and gym are for family use only.
Depending on the number of toys in the toy shop, we can occasionally accommodate a guest classic car, but we make no guarantee. However as you will have already discovered, our secure gated parking does give those of you with treasured motors, complete peace of mind.
Have a great stay.