Drawing of Marwell Hall

About Marwell Hall

Marwell Hall was built in the early 14th century (around 1320) by Walter Woodlock, a relative of the Bishop of Winchester. It was a timber-framed structure of the type known as a base cruck, in size about 8 metres by 13 metres. Over the centuries many alterations have been made, but the original medieval hall remains as the core of the building.

In the mid 1500s ownership passed to the Seymour family. Henry VIII is said to have been a frequent visitor. Local legend likes us to believe that he and his third wife, Jane Seymour, were married here. Jane Seymour's son, Edward VI, is said to have visited the Hall, and the Royal arms and the initials E.R. can be seen carved over the fireplace in the Hall.

There are many stories of ghostly happenings in and around the Hall. Probably the most famous is the story of the ‘Mistletoe Bride'. On her wedding day, while playing hide and seek with her groom and guests, the bride hid in an oak chest in a remote corner of the hall. She was unable to get out of the self-locking chest. The groom and guests searched high and low, but her cries were not heard and her remains were found many years later. It is the wedding guests who can be heard frantically rushing around the corridors searching for the missing bride.

In 1644 Marwell Hall was the scene of a skirmish between Roundheads and Cavaliers. A newsletter of the time relates that a party of about 200 Cavaliers, having spent much of the day drinking in Winchester, rode out to Marwell to engage a troop of sixty of Sir William Waller's men. In spite of outnumbering the Roundheads by more than three to one, they were routed, and fled back to Winchester.

In the middle of the nineteenth century (1841 to 1852) Marwell Hall was owned by a gentleman by the name of John Gully. He survived, but lost, a 64 round boxing match (before the days of the Queensberry rules), trained racehorses at Danebury (but not, it seems at Marwell), had two wives, twenty -four children, and became MP for Pontefract.

For some forty years, from 1798 onwards, the Hall was occupied by the Long family. William Long, in about 1816, made considerable alterations to the Hall during this time, resulting in the building that stands here today.

The massive Cedar that stands on the lawn at the back of the Hall was probably planted by William Long, and is about two hundred years old.  Its girth is now five-and-a-half metres.

Information compiled by Maureen Taylor, Archaeologist.

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