Exploring Rotherwick

Liz Barnett explores the historical connections between two of the this north Hampshire village's most fascinating buildings

Did you know that there is a connection between Rotherwick’s two ‘halls’ – Tylney Hall, and the Village Hall? In the 1920s, Sir Herbert Cayser was the owner of Tylney Hall, but went away for two months of the year to his estate in Scotland. During his vacations he let out Tylney Hall for the shooting. For a few years, the tenants were Mr and Mrs Henry De Forest and their son and daughter, from Long Island in New York. The family loved their stay at the great house and they took a keen interest in Rotherwick and the church. In 1929, the son, Charles De Forest, departed from Southampton on a world cruise. A short time later, having returned to Long Island, his parents received the terrible news that their son had died of a fever while in Italy. In August 1930 Henry De Forest wrote to the Church wardens at Rotherwick expressing his wish that because of his family’s personal connection with the village, something useful and permanent should be given to the people of Rotherwick. The letter went on to suggest that a new Village Hall might be considered as a memorial to their son.  The Village Hall has since remained an integral part of the village’s community and has even starred in the immensely popular, Foyles War. Ray Beech recently took over as chairman and he explains how important the hall is for the local people and their lifestyle: “We try to organise events throughout the year to help build our community and form bonds with the local villagers, after Christmas we always put together a dinner and dance and in the summer we all look forward to the village barbecue where everyone brings along their tents and gazebos if it’s raining and everybody has a fantastic time together.”

Visit Tylney HallNow a splendid country house hotel, Tylney Hall welcomes visitors from all over the UK. Explore the village and the mansion house’s history for yourself. Tylney Hall, Ridge Lane, Rotherwick RG27 9AZ Tel. 01256 764881