The Elms (Elmers Court)

estate elms
The Elms. LMGLM:1999.181.4

The Elms was situated at the southern end of the Walhampton estate to which it belonged from 1827 to 1883. It was never a manor house. It is shown on DeBruyn’s map of 1803 but not named. The earliest specific reference to the property appears to be 1827 when an agreement was drawn up conveying The Elms from John Sheddon (of Lymington) to Sir Harry Neale of Walhampton for the sum of £4,004 7s 6d. In 1872 when the property was leased to Admiral Sartorius (1790-1885), major additions were made to the house by Rashley, the Lymington building firm. At that time, The Elms stood ‘in a small park of about 20 acres with uninterrupted views of the Isle of Wight’. The property was sold to William Ingham Whitaker of Pylewell in about 1883. His second marriage was to Margherita Emily Georgina Sartorius, daughter of Admiral Sartorius.

estate elms
The ornate rain water heads on the south façade carry the date and monogram of Hugh Sartorius Whitaker (HSW).

Whitaker’s son, also William Ingham Whitaker, demolished the house in about 1911 and rebuilt a much grander house on the site. This is essentially the core of the existing Elmers Court. The house was sold in 1935 by Herman Andreae, a yachtsman, for conversion to a girl’s school called Eversley. By then, the 20 bedroom house stood in 87 acres and boasted having “the finest rockery garden in the country”. The outlying portions of the estate, including building sites of one to eight acres, were auctioned in 1936.

From 1947, after being requisitioned in the war, the school catered for convalescing children from the London Borough of Harrow, later for children with behavioural problems. It closed in 1979. Victor Read purchased the site in 1980 intending to continue it as a school (he ran Southlands School at Boldre) but then, with Lt-Col Peter Chitty, converted it to time-share apartments. This failed and it was in the hands of the receivers in 1983. It was then run by Burry and Knight of Highcliffe until Barretts purchased it in 1986.

The gallery below shows more images of Elmers Court.

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