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52 High Street

Known as Grosvenor House, this large Regency building with Ionic columns was built in about 1830 for James Munro, mayor of Lymington in 1831. According to Roger Pinckney, the building is “the most complicated design of a Regency front in Lymington. It marked an early house underneath. It was an excellent bit of work, but somewhat ruthless in that the windows did not always fit the floor levels inside.”  In the mid-19th century it was a boys’ school run by Jane Smith, assisted by one teacher. Boarders included the three sons of Rev Edward Clissold of Yeatton House in Hordle and John Peyto Charles Shrubb, the son of the Boldre vicar. After the school closed the building was occupied by Mrs F St Barbe in the late 1870s, followed by a series of doctors. It became vacant in the 1970s and was scheduled for demolition, but following protests the façade was retained although the building itself was gutted. It now houses Age UK and Millets.

53 High Street

Named the Red House, this was built in 1722 on the foundations of one of the High Street’s few early stone buildings. Details of the old walls can be seen on the east side. In the 1840s it was occupied by Rev David Everard Ford, the Congregational minister. His wife Jane used part of the building as a boarding school. After the Fords solicitor Richard Sharp and his wife Lucy moved in. Richard was a borough councillor and alderman and very active in the Congregational Church. His daughter Edith Lucy (1853-1929) was one of Lymington’s early proponents of women’s rights. She served for over 30 years on the Lymington Board of Guardians and played a leading role in the revival and reorganisation of the Lymington & District Women’s Liberal Association, where she was President. She was also a key member of Lymington Congregational Church where she was treasurer from 1899 until her death in 1930. In 1910, in a very enlightened move for the time, the church members unanimously elected her as probably the first female Congregational church deacon in Hampshire. After the Sharps the building was occupied for many years by Jackman & Masters and is now John D Wood & Co.

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