In 2013, the Wymering Manor Trust was gifted one of Portsmouth’s oldest residential buildings by Portsmouth City Council, but without a dowry, but with a huge backlog of major structural repairs, especially to the timber frame, dendro—dated to 1582. The repairs are costed at £2/3 million. The Portsmouth Youth Hostel which occupied the manor from 1960 moved out in 2006, because several major rooms were no longer usable. With the help of English Heritage and the Architectural Heritage Fund, Simon Goddard, of the Goddard Partnership, prepared an Options Appraisal about the restoration, grounds and future uses of the Grade II* manor. The Trust’s aim is to restore the manor and grounds for the local community to use and enjoy.
Wymering Manor once stood in extensive grounds and a lodge house still exists. When it was built, it was surrounded by countryside and grain fields near the main south coast road. The surrounding area was built over in the twentieth century so that the manor is now hidden amongst the modern homes of the suburb of Wymering, at the heart of the Old Wymering Conservation Area. Photographs show it in its original setting, close to the flint walled churchyard of St. Peter and Paul (c.1180) across Old Wymering Lane. The lane still has an old hedgerow and sections of flint wall to the north of the manor. The manor’s grounds were severely reduced by land sales from the 1940s onwards, when it was closely surrounded by development. Houses nearby date from the design of an early 20th century garden city. However, enough land survives around the manor for the trust to recreate a historic garden appropriate to its history. Pauline Powell, (Portsmouth’s Tree Warden) and Nadya Pearson, who are both involved in the Porter’s Garden in Portsmouth dockyard, have designed a traditional garden for the manor with a yew hedge, roses and lavender appropriate to the manor’s history. Planting will be achieved over a five-year period, starting first with areas which will not be vulnerable to building work, such as the eastern frontage now exposed by a tall wire fence. The Wymering Manor Trust is very grateful for the recent Hampshire Gardens Trust grant towards the first phase of the work, which will also include a fruit and vegetable garden for local people to grow their own food.