Hampshire Treasures

Volume 6 ( East Hampshire)

Page 163 - Greatham

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The manor of Greatham was held by Queen Edith in the time of Edward the Confessor, but at the Domesday Survey (1086) it belonged to William the Conqueror. In later years the manor passed through many families by marriage and by purchase, including the Devenish, Marshall, Norton, Freeland and Love families.

A manor house was recorded as early as the year 1286 and the property comprising the manor included arable land, pastures, woodland and farm buildings. The ancient place name of Le Court was used when the manor house was rebuilt in 1866. In the 1940s Le Court House was bought by Group-Captain Leonard Cheshire, who in 1948 began to take in people suffering from incurable diseases. Le Court became the first home in a worldwide network of hospices for the incurably sick, now known as the Cheshire Homes.

An area of land near Woolmer Forest had been used for army training since the 1870s, and in 1903 Longmoor Camp was established as a permanent military station. Occupying over 40 acres, the camp included the garrison church of St. Martin, a Roman Catholic chapel, a military hospital, school and welfare centre. The Royal Engineers constructed a railway for the purposes of moving some huts from Longmoor Camp to the adjacent army depot at Bordon; the Longmoor railway survived until 1969.

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