Our first visit to Merchistoun Hall was May 2020.
There are a few local ghost stories about the location probably the most fanous being that of seeing a red eyed spector looking out of the window of what was once Admiral Charles Napier bedroom. We spoke to a gentleman who had personaly witnessed this while in his teens back in the late 1980’s
Merchistoun Hall, Named by Admiral Charles Napier in the mid-19th-century after his ancestral home in Scotland, was previously called ‘Quallets’, ‘The Grove’ or ‘Grove Lodge’. The estate was gradually built up as land became available, probably by James Conway and some later owners over several years.
The present house was 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. After having moved to Fareham, he 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 was bought in 1942 by AW White & Company, after 1945 it was used as a furniture store. Finally, the much-reduced estate, having suffered from extensive development in the area, was bought by the Horndean Community Association [information]
Short highlights of our two visits 2022 – 2023
Highlights of our visit in April 2023
Each of our teams were equipped with an infrared video camera as they investigated various areas with in Merchistoun Hall. Here is a short video showing the highlights of their footage and any points of interest.
There is interesting consistency between our tow visits so far, the area of the Séance both nights although a year apart reported somebody walking around the séance table with sounds being heard in the room. The upstairs library basement and stage areas all being active on our visits.