Some fascinating stories about what the butler did near Horndean

Edwardian interior of Idsworth House.
Edwardian interior of Idsworth House.
Sir Francis Chichester on Gipsy Moth IV.

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My photograph of and write-up about Idsworth Church on Saturday, August 9 was seen by William Pratt of Fratton.

He told me that the original Idsworth House stood near the church, but it was demolished brick by brick when the railway was due to pass close by.

A new house was built about a mile over the downs near to Horndean and his father Thomas was butler there.

It was owned by Sir Dudley Clark Jervoise and then by his son, Eustace.

William tells me his father would tell him many stories about his times at the house.

One of these tales was about when Eustace went to foreign countries, such as Norway and Sweden, to go fishing, Thomas would have the opportunity to accompany him on the trips.

The house was always full of important people at weekends who came down for the shooting and garden parties that were frequently hosted there.

One way to amuse the guests was to place sultanas soaked in sherry on the lawn outside the front window.

The rooks would then come down to feed on the sultanas.

The birds would get drunk and when they tried to fly off they would just stagger around the lawn, much to the amusement of the guests.

William says that in later life his father often visited the house to see his former employer and was always well-received.