Concept

Heckfield Place

Résumé
A country estate of 438 acres, the heart of Heckfield Place is a Georgian Grade II listed manor house, located in Hampshire, United Kingdom. It was built between 1763 and 1766 for Jane Hawley (1744–1815), it was enlarged by the Shaw Lefevre family who lived in the estate from 1786 to 1895. In the 20th century, it was owned by the family of Col Horace Walpole before being sold to Racal Electronics plc. and converted to a conference and training centre in 1981–1982. An additional wing was added to the north of the manor house, extending into the walled garden. From 2000 to 2002, Heckfield Place was run as a corporate training centre by the Thales Group. The building underwent major refurbishment from 2009 until 2018, when it opened as a luxury country house hotel and awarded The Sunday Times’ Hotel of the Year Award in 2018. Jane Hawley (1744–1815), the elder daughter of Revd John Baker of Ilton, Somerset (1713–1757), began the construction of the five-bay core of Heckfield Place manor house after the death of her husband, William Hawley of West Green House, Mattingley around August 1763. Jane had been orphaned (1757) and married (still a minor, in 1760), became a mother (1761) and then a widow (1763) all in around six years, and she was still not yet twenty years old. She borrowed against the funds left in trust for her infant son Henry, and used some of the money to build herself a new house and amass a small estate. The choice of the site for Heckfield Place appears to have been influenced by the proximity of her uncle and guardian, William Baker (1716–1800) and aunt Sarah with whom lived Jane's younger sister Catherine, at a house called The Grove (part of the Stratfield Saye estate of George Pitt), on Heckfield Heath. The site was also high, pleasant, and healthy, and afforded magnificent views to the north-east towards Windsor. The architect of the house is not known. It was brick-built, three-storey (with a stone staircase), of five bays, with five rooms on the ground floor.
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