Visitors welcome as historic Horndean home opens up

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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A MANOR house that was home to a celebrated Royal Navy Admiral will be throwing open its doors tomorrow.

The 250-year-old Merchistoun Hall, in Portsmouth Road, Horndean, is having an open day and visitors will be able to have a look round its facilities.

The Georgian Grade-II listed building was home to Admiral Sir Charles Napier, one of the most widely known naval officers during the early Victorian era, having fought in the Napoleonic, Syria and Crimean Wars.

For the last 60 years it has been run by Horndean Community Association after villagers rallied round to pay the £5,000 to buy the estate.

Tomorrow it will be open from 11am to 4pm.

Among the facilities on show will be the hall’s meeting rooms and theatre, and any visitors contemplating getting married can find out how they can hold their wedding at the hall.

There will be displays created by users of the hall and refreshments will be available. The property is currently in the middle of a long-term project to restore the house to its former glory.

The hall will host Friday fundraising sales on October 5, November 2 and December 7 from 9am to 11.30am.

Sellers can book a table for £5 by calling Brenda on (023) 9226 6622.

There will also be a fundraising dog show in the grounds of the hall on September 23.