Joy as historic manor becomes community asset

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IT’S thought to be the oldest house in Portsmouth and is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book.

Now campaigners who have spent years trying to protect Wymering Manor are celebrating after they took over the Grade II listed building.

Portsmouth City Council has handed over the building, in Old Wymering Lane, Wymering, Portsmouth, to the Wymering Manor Trust.

Council officials have given the trust £30,000 to help cover initial bills and some restoration work.

The manor is considered one of the most haunted properties in the UK and much of the structure that stands today dates from the 16th century.

There are still parts that contain Roman and medieval materials.

Negotiations began in 2010 and the sale was approved by members of the city council’s cabinet in December.

As part of the deal it must be run as a community hub.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We’re pleased to hand over Wymering Manor into the hands of the Wymering Manor Trust,’ Cllr Vernon-Jackson said.

‘This should mean a bright new future for the manor, and we wish the trust well.

‘We hope that now the trust own the manor they will be able to successfully apply for lottery funding and grants to ensure a bright and positive future for this historic Portsmouth building.’

In order to bring the manor back to its former glory the trust will need to find at least £500,000.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, chairwoman of the trust, which is made up of eight other board members, is in talks with The Architectural Heritage Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund over the availability of grants. ‘This is fantastic news for the community,’ Ms Mordaunt said.

‘I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who has supported us.’

‘With the best will in the world the council would not have brought the manor back into use because it would not have been able to apply for lottery grants. It’s going to cost a lot of money to restore the place but with hard work we can get there.’

The official signing over of the manor to the trust will take place on February 15.