Stanbridge Earls Heritage

The impressive buildings at Audley Stanbridge Earls retirement village include: 

  • The main house - listed Grade II* in 1957
  • The game larder - listed Grade II in 1986
  • The stable block
  • The c.1900 glasshouse.

Formerly a private home, Stanbridge Earls is rumoured to have been once occupied by Saxon royalty. The name "Stanbridge" is of Saxon origin and derived from a bridge crossing on the River Test. There are claims for Stanbridge as the location of the burial in c.857 of King Æthelwulf based on antiquarian accounts from 16th to 18th centuries.

At the time of the Norman conquest an identifiable land holding was already in existence, recorded in the Domesday survey as an unnamed manor that was part of the estates held by Sir Ralph de Mortimer. Later on the site was held by a number of families until, by the early 19th century, it was in a ruinous state.

From 1942, along with Roke Manor to the south, Stanbridge Earls was used as a rest and recuperation home for USAF personnel. It was photographed in 1943, with images of the gardens, including the Burmese temple. On Hutchinson’s death in 1950 the house was again sold, then rapidly sold again and in 1952 the school was founded.