St Austins was built in 1793 by Captain Josias Rogers on a 190 acre estate at Battramsley. It was named to commemorate a monastic building on the site associated with Christchurch Priory. The estate passed through a number of owners but continued to grow until it stood at 2,000 acres when Keppel Pulteney reached adulthood and took over the management in 1890. Pulteney was very involved in local life as a Verderer and councillor, however he gradually sold off much of the estate for development. The Keyhaven Syndicate bought Pennington Farm and the Manor of Pennington, while Frank Aman bought farms including Ramley and Priestlands.
Efforts to sell the house were unsuccessful until 1944 when it was sold to John Howlett for £10,000. Half was demolished and his staff lived in the remaining section. After Howlett’s death, it was auctioned off.