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Gatehouse restoration

Bramshott Place, which is currently being developed as a new village of 147 homes designed for the over 55s centred around an exclusive country club, was originally an Elizabethan mansion built in the 1580s by local merchant John Hooke in a five-acre estate. Sadly, when the current developers, Helical Bar Plc and Urban Renaissance Villages, bought it the only part of the historic building remaining was a Grade II-listed gatehouse, that has become the corporate logo for the development and is currently undergoing extensive restoration.

According to Bill Gair of Urban Renaissance Villages, the years have taken their toll on the historic gatehouse. “As such a valuable Grade ll Listed structure, we appreciate the importance of using a specialist restoration contractor and working with materials as close to the original as possible,” he said. “Hence the work on the Tudor gatehouse is highly complex. Damaged bricks, finials and pier cappings are being replaced, which involves making casts from the original pieces and recreating new ones in authentic materials. A new roof will be installed, using lead of exactly the same thickness as would have been used in the sixteenth century. Even the non-visible parts must be treated with respect, so every effort will be made to replicate the original hand-split laths, and plaster with horsehair, and Tudor nails. As you can imagine, it’s going to take some time,” he concludes.

When complete, the gatehouse will be the village bus shelter, possibly the most elaborate one in the country! But even that is not without precedent. By the seventeenth century, Liphook had become a stopping point on the coaching route to Portsmouth, and diarist Samuel Pepys recorded an overnight stay there in August 1668.

Despite the current downturn in the property market, Bill Gair says off plan sales at Bramshott Place are still coming through. “There is clearly a real demand for this type of lifetime home for the over 55s and we saw this need many years ago, and have created our age exclusive village accordingly - the interest in Bramshott and high level of early reservations clearly demonstrates that.”

When complete, Bramshott Place will be a collection of well-designed ‘future proof’ apartments and cottages in elegant landscaped grounds with all the amenities and facilities needed for living independently within a vibrant, mature community. The developers have recognised that the property demands of older buyers go way beyond merely improved interior design features. “It’s about creating independent living within a supportive, maintained development and offering the freedom of daily chores to enjoy life to the full,” continues Bill Gair.

Central to Bramshott Place will be the residents’ Country Club, with a restaurant, bar, fitness and games rooms, hydrotherapy pool, library and communal entertaining areas. Acres of parkland, formal gardens and a wildflower meadow outside will be complemented by a winter garden/atrium inside. In addition, facilities such as the concierge, laundry, domestic cleaning services and on-site health centre are available to all residents.

Phase 1 of Bramshott Place is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008, with prices ranging from £295,000 to £315,000 for the apartments and from £430,000 to £499,000 for the cottages. Each property is sold with a 125-year lease and, in addition to ample outdoor parking. Further information about the homes available for sale at Bramshott Place is available from sole agents Clarke Gammon Weller, on 01428 722800, or by visiting

Article posted on: 02 September 2008

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