Stokehurst Old Rectory

Summary of Information Re: Stokehurst Old Rectory Listed Grade 2 Star Building
Formerly the Rectory of St Mary’s Church Alverstoke.
Documentary records from 1204  –  1947.

Buildings have been erected, demolished,, altered, extended and adapted on this site for nearly 800 YEARS, known as Stokehurst.

The rubble from the original medieval parsonage now forms the two terraces on the south side of the house.

The south elevation with its ten splendid Georgian windows converted a medieval “first floor hall’ into a much larger eighteenth century residence planned and executed by the Reverend John Sturgess in 1775.

Charles Augustus North, the wealthiest rector ever to live here decided in 1809 to extend the building still further resulting in the finely proportioned red brick elevation facing the church.

Being now a 24 room building only the wealthiest rectors could afford to live here.  The poorer ones had to let the building.  The most noteworthy tenant being the Carlist Queen of Spain, Maria Francesca.  She died here and laid in state in the upper room before her grand Roman Catholic funeral in September 1834.

The last rector of St Mary’s Alverstoke to live here with his family was Canon Guy Landon from 1907 – 1947. This wealthy Edwardian rector with.  his indoor servants, outdoor servants, his carriages, horses and glebe farm, lived in the style expected by his parishioners.   One surviving ninety year old recalls how the rector regularly used an underground passage to reach the church until 1911 when the construction of a sewer cut through the ancient passage rendering it forever impassable.   When he died at the age of 81, the whole parish mourned his passing and spoke of it as the end of an era.

The rectory was sold off with nine acres of glebe land to the National Children’s Home for £7,500, later the land was sold for building of Rectory Close etc.  The huge old house was divided into seven flats which is how it is still arranged today.

Joan Russell & David Maber September 1992

Gosport Society Gallery including Shokehurst Drawing