Mersham House, situated off the west side of West End Road in Bitterne, was constructed about 1830. It seems to have been speculatively built and was offered for let by Charles Brooks, an estate agent with offices in Above Bar Street. The letting particulars describe the house as a beautiful villa set in a five acre garden. It comprised an entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, library, servants’ rooms and eight bedrooms.

In the 1861 census, Oswald (b 1795) and Mary Grimstone are living there with their two adult children and three servants (Ann Morgan, ? Sawyer and James Elliott). Oswald Grimstone is described as a landed proprietor. There is an associated lodge with John and Ann Sawyer, coachman and nurse, their two children, and John (a gardener) and Ann Smith living there.

In the 1871 census, Oswald Grimstone is still living at Mersham House, with his adult son, five grandchildren and eight servants. A gardener and his wife (Richard and Eliza Hutson or Hudson) are living at Mersham Lodge.

In the 1881 census, the house is not named, but appears to be 34 West End Road. Oswald Grimstone (b 1832), one of Oswald the elder's sons, is living there with his wife Louisa, six children (two described as step-children), his mother and nine servants. Oswald Grimstone is described as a colonel.

In the 1891 census, the house appears to be listed as The Lodge, Itchen. Oswald and Louisa are still living there, with three children (one described as a step-son), Oswald's mother and six servants. There is a Gardener's Cot[tage] next door, with John and Jane Barfoot and their three children living there.

In the 1901 census, the house appears to be listed as The Lodge, Pear Tree Green. Oswald and Louisa are still living there, with three adult daughters (two described as step-daughters), a visitor and four servants. There is still an associated gardener's cottage, with William and Susan Williamson and their three children living there.

In the 1911 census, Charles and Katherine Noke are living there with Katherine's two adult children and three servants (Edith Luff, Kate Shears and Rose Guy). Charles Noke is described as a retired sea captain. The gardener's cottage appears now to be lived in by Edward and Annie Grace and their daughter. Edward is a labourer in the oil cake mills (cattle food).

In World War One the house was converted to a military hospital. It was demolished before 1948 and Mersham Gardens was built over the site.

Mersham House

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A view of the house, and a floor plan, from an agent's prospectus, 1836.

Mersham House and Gardens

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from an agent's prospectus, 1836

To Let

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Mr Charles Brooks promotes the amenities and the views.


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