A Brief History of Greenham Hall
(sometimes known as Tremlett Hall)
The house was built on the site of a much older building in 1848 by a solicitor Thomas Edward Clarke from Chard who had inherited the property along with 1,000 acres of land. In 1880 the Chapman family purchased the estate, selling on to Admiral Kelly in 1920. Over the years much of the land was sold off.
The Kellys died just before WWII and during the war some children came as evacuees. Later the house and grounds became a collecting point for troops.
Post war the Norman family bought the property. Rationing, and shortages of building materials and heating fuel coupled with a particularly bitter winter, made managing a large house without the seven indoor and seven outdoor servants their predecessors had employed almost impossible, forcing them to retreat to the west wing of the house. They renovated the servants quarters using timber panelling, fireplaces, doors and other decorative features taken from the main wing. Then to reduce their rates bill they removed the floor boards of the now empty main wing and had it listed as a farm building.
The next owners divided the west wing into two parts. The one’s after that farmed the land but did not move into the house, and after two years, in 1970, they sold the whole building and immediate garden to Henry Ayre for £13,000.
His purchase comprised a four bedroom house, which was supposedly inhabitable but needing much renovation, a two bedroom cottage with a sitting tenant, a huge derelict wing which lacked floor boards, part of the stairs, doors, door frames, and had many cracked and broken windows, no plumbing, heating or electricity. There was also a huge coach house and stables. Henry planned to use the derelict part and the coach house for storage for his business.
It was a huge risk buying a property in such bad repair. Two days after the sale, they discovered how much of a risk. An electrical fault triggered a fire in the wing they were due to move into. The front portion including the roof of the west wing that faced the garden was severely damaged. The rebuilding took four months, before they were able to move in.
Henry began to make the main part of the building water-tight, and put in flooring so he could store furniture in it. His wife, Doris turned her attention to the neglected garden. Brambles had overrun all the shrubs and the only part that was not totally overgrown was a small area by the wisteria covered summer house. The main lawns were uneven from years of use as a bull paddock. A few magnificent trees survived and are still flourishing today.
It is a joy to share Greenham Hall with visitors.
Tel: 01823 672603 Greenham Hall Greenham Nr Wellington Somerset TA21 0JJ