Birth of the Estate
Estate Annual Diary
Leigh Park Farms
Leigh Park Houses
Rural to Urban
Did you know that.....
The Staunton Story
The House in Wartime
Other History

This page is devoted to information suppied by callers to the site regarding information to had about Leigh Park House and the estates, for which we offer our grateful thanks.

From the Daily Telegraph obituary on Harry Dodson:

"Harry Dodson worked his way through many large country gardens and up the ranks from garden boy to become a celebrated head gardener, breathing life into estate gardens, keeping them in bloom and their households in produce.

Henry James Dodson was born on 11th September 1919, his father, a gardener at Byfleet, Surrey died when he was 6 years old.. . . . . . . . . .He was a serving soldier in the Royal Sussex Regiment serving in France and took well to army life. Ill-health meant he was discharged from the army, and he then did war work as a foreman in the gardens of Leigh Park, a large house in Hampshire then in the hands of the Admiralty . . . . "

Harry Dodson died on 25th July, 2005 aged 85 years.

From Jon Carver:

"I came upon your website whilst researching the history of a yacht I have purchased and am in the process of restoring. According to LLoyds Register of Yachts, the vessel was owned by Captain Lynch-Staunton of Purbrook House from 1891 until 1901. It was inetesting to read about him on your web site.

The yacht is called Minx and is an Itchen Ferry type built by Alfred Payne of Northam (later to become Summers and Payne). This is the only information I have about the early history of the boat and I would be grateful, if you have any other references to her, to let me know."

Can anyone help, if so contact Jon at jonothan.carver@arup.com

From Rob Hoole:

"I have come across some more information relating to the Wartime use of Leigh Park The excerpts come from 'The Torpedomen - HMS Vernon's Story 1972-1986.

"The Mine Design Department, so long a part of the Vernon scene, became the Admiralty Mining Department that remained at Havant (1947); a new building was designed and built for the reduced stafff in the grounds of West Leigh House."

". . . . . anti-subnarine weapons, mines and mine countermeasures were still the responsibility of the successor of the old Mine Design Department, renamed the Underwater Countermeasures Weapons Establishment [UCWE], at West Leigh House. Concentration of these weapons establishments was discussed and Portland seemed the obvious place. In 1958, Captain W D S White (Royal Navy) was appointed as Captain of UCWE at Havant, with the special responsibility of supervising the moves to Portland and the creation of the new Underwater Weapons Establishment. . . . . . White and the Chief Scientist at UCWE spent many long hours dealing with the teething problems of the new organisation but in March 1959 all was ready and the Underwater Launching and the Underwater Countermeasures and Weapins Establishments came together in the Underwater Weapons Establishment (UWE) under the same roof as the Admiralty Gunnery Establishment at Portland. The logic was carried on to its conclusion in 1962 when UWE was combined administratively with HMUDE (Her Majesty's Underwater Weapons Development Establishment) as the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE); the surface interests of the Gunnery Establishment passed to the new Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment (now defunct ASWE prominent on top of Portsdown Hill) at Portsmouth."