Three Gables King’s Saltern Road Lymington

Research by Elizabeth Lewis & Clare Church
Lymington and District Historical Society

With grateful thanks to the current owners Sharon & Jay Ogden
August 2020

On the twelfth day of June One thousand eight hundred and seventy five, Thomas Alfred Skelton sold parcels of land being part of the Waterford Freehold Land Allotment in the Parish of Lymington in the County of Southampton. The land, situated between Bath Road and Westfield Road, was sold in four lots to Adeline Ellen Eliza Harding and her younger sister Margaret both of Grove House.

Lot 146 was purchased by Adeline for £40 with the agreement that she should at all times maintain a substantial fence on the North West and North East boundaries and that ‘ no more than one dwelling house shall at any time be built and that every such house shall be of not less value than three hundred pounds. The house shall front towards the road called Bath Road’.

Adeline also purchased Lot 138 for which she paid £25. This land fronted Westfield Road. Any dwelling built should have the value of £200.

Thomas Skelton sold Lot 139 to ‘Margaret Harding of Grove House Spinster’ for £25 on the understanding that only one dwelling could be built and that must be ‘not less value than £200’ and front towards Westfield Road. Lot 147 fronting Bath Road cost £40 and the potential house value was £300.

The Indentures were Signed Sealed and Delivered by William Coxwell, Solicitor.

There were other stipulations for Adeline and Margaret and their heirs and executers to be aware of.

‘All privies and water closets erected on the said land shall be attached to or included in some dwelling house or other building……no excavation shall be made on the said land further than is necessary for the erection of the building…..nor shall any building thereon be used as a Mill Brewery Inn Tavern Public House Beerhouse Distillery or Slaughterhouse or for the Sale thereon or therefrom by Retail to be drunk on or off the premises of any beer ale porter wine or Spirituous Liquers nor for any noisy noisome injurious or offensive trade business or purpose whatsoever nor shall any furnace forge or steam engine be erected nor shall any bricks be burnt on the land’.


Who were Adeline and Margaret Harding, and why did they wish to purchase land on the Waterford Allotment?


Grove House, Lymington, with appurtenances including a grove of lime trees

Counterpart agreement to lease for 14 years at £120 a year, 9th July 1860
(i) Rev. William Hamilton Thompson, Stoke Dry Rectory, Uppingham, Rutland
(ii) James Harding, 38 Harley Street, Middlesex, esq

Date: 1860

James Harding, together with his wife Mary (formerly Pym), moved to the Grove, sometimes known as the Ropewalk or Limewalk. He and Mary had eight children including William, Adeline, James, Julia, Augusta and Margaret. James Harding, surgeon, died in 1868. Four years later, the house and land were purchased by two of his daughters though the estate was sometimes recorded as being that of Francis their famous elder brother.

Memorial in Boldre Churchyard to James Harding, and Margaret & Adeline Harding

C:\Users\Elizabeth Lewis\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\X0PF1Y3W\james harding grave.jpg C:\Users\Elizabeth Lewis\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\X0PF1Y3W\Margaret Harding and Adeline names on grave Boldre.jpg

Four years after the death of their father, Adeline and Margaret purchased The Grove. When their beloved brother Francis died in 1875, they purchased plots at Waterford and built the Cottage Convalescent Home in his memory.

Grove House, Burts Mead (3ac.) and parcel (37p) of a meadow adjoining called Home Mead

Ordinary Shares (nos. 1669-1688) in the Lymington Railway Company

Contract for sale, 19th September 1872
(i) Rev. William Hamilton Thompson, Stoke Dry Rectory, Rutland
(ii) Adeline Ellen Eliza and Margaret Harding, Lymington, spinsters
Consideration : £2400



By Roger Fenton, 1855 (National Portrait Gallery)

From the Provincial Archives, New Brunswick

The Cottage Convalescent Home was erected in 1876 by the Misses Harding of the Grove in memory of the late General Francis Pym Harding CB (Kelly’s Directory for Hampshire 1920).

Although some claim that Francis Harding was born at the Grove, Lymington, on the 23rd of September 1821, the date is disputed and it is more likely that he was born in London where the family had their home. What we do know is that his parents leased the Grove in 1860.

At the age of 18 Francis was gazetted as an ensign of the 22nd Foot (Cheshire Regiment) and from then on he not only saw more service than many of his contemporaries but distinguished himself on many occasions.

Having been posted to India, by 1834 he was promoted to Major and by 1850 he was serving as a Persian interpreter to Sir Charles Napier. As aide-de-camp to General John Lysaght Pennefather, he took part in the battles of Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman, where he was seriously wounded and was mentioned in dispatches for gallant conduct. Promoted to Colonel, he was Commandant of Balaklava until the evacuation of the Crimea.

In 1866, as commander of the first battalion of the 2nd Foot in Malta, he was transferred to Canada to take charge of an exceptionally large garrison at the time of the Fenian threat. He worked so well with the local militia that he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and two years later was promoted to Major General.

The following year he returned home with his regiment and retired on half pay to the Grove where he died in 1875.

As well as the CB, Francis was awarded many medals and decorations including the medal with four clasps, Brevet of Lieutenant Colonel, Knight of Legion of Honour and Turkish medal.

Scinde Medal - Wikipedia Scinde Medal - Wikipedia

Scinde Medal 1843

It is not surprising that his sisters Adeline and Margaret Harding constructed the Cottage Convalescent Home ‘for their great love to their brother Major Francis Pym now deceased and from a desire to perpetuate his memory’.

July 5th, 1888 from an Agreement with the Reverend Maturin, Vicar of Lymington

Harding, Francis otherwise Francis Pym Esq. 24 March 1875. Effects under £35000

The will of Francis Harding otherwise Francis Pym Harding late of 35 Sackville Street Piccadilly in the County of Middlesex, Major-General in her Majesty’s Army who died 25 February 1875 at the Grove Lymington in the county of Southampton was proved at the Principal Registry by Adeline Ellen Eliza Harding of the Grove Spinster the sister the sole Executrix.

INDENTURE made the Fifth day of July One thousand eight hundred and eighty eight

As Adeline and Margaret became older they began to be concerned about the future of the Cottage Convalescent Home so they – Spinsters of the one part – came to an agreement with the Vicar of Lymington, Rev. Benjamin Maturin and the Churchwardens, William Robinson Hill, Doctor of Medicine and Thomas Champagny Blake, Saddler. A Conveyance was drawn up for the purpose of carrying on the House which they had established ‘from their great love to their brother Major General Francis Pym Harding now deceased and from a desire to perpetuate his memory’.

The Solicitor was her nephew Samuel Arnott Pym, 38 Lincolns Inn Fields.

File:Rev. Canon Benjamin Maturin, vicar of Lymington, Hampshire.jpg Rev Maturin who was Vicar of Lymington from 1852 till his death in 1905 was Chaplain of Lymington Poor Union for more than 50 years so would appear to have been a most suitable person to oversee the running of the Home.

Adeline and Margaret would ‘grant and convey and dedicate parcels of land messuages and hereditaments ‘ namely Lots 146 and 147, to be administered by themselves, as long as they were able, with the Trustees from the Church. A Charity called Home would be set up to decide upon and administer rules and regulations. Should they find themselves unable to carry on, or should one die and the survivor be unable to carry on, Home would take over. The owner of The Grove, as long as related to the Hardings, would become a Trustee .

The Trustees would be responsible for the appointment of a suitable person to be resident matron who would be subject to the guidance of the medical adviser. An Honorary Secretary would be appointed (a lady if possible) who would be responsible for all correspondence and receipts relating to the Home and its inmates. If a problem arose, all outstanding debts would be discharged and beds would be endowed at the South Hants Infirmary. These would be known as the Francis Pym Harding Beds.

The Home ‘shall be for the use of women and girls either married or single. Boys under the age of Fourteen years may be admitted upon the written consent of the managing trustees. Convalescent persons suffering from debility or other delicacy of constitution needing change of air rest and nourishment shall be considered suitable persons for admission into the Home. No person shall be admitted who is suffering from any acute disease or who is bedridden or who has any cutaneous or infectious disorder.’

Persons residing beyond the limits of the Parish of Lymington must be recommended by a subscriber or be supported by a medical certificate.

No person shall be ineligible or considered a less deserving object of the charity by reason or on account of his or her religious opinions.

The payment shall not exceed ten shillings per week payable in advance which shall include medical attendance and medicine and the convalescent women in reduced circumstances would experience the ‘uplifting of their spirits’ with board and lodging, baths, fires light and medical attendance.

By the 1920s the charge had risen to 25 shillings which with charitable donations brought in an income of £400 a year which was only just enough to cover expenses. The Matron’s salary was £30 a year.

It was noted in 1888 that the managing trustee may expel or remove any inmate for misconduct or if they were considered no longer a proper inmate.

1881 Census

Name Status Age Role Profession Birthplace
Frances Plowman Widow 48 Matron Matron Milford
Clara Plowman Daughter 15 Domestic Servant Domestic Servant Godalming
Owen Plowman Son 12     Whitchurch
Annie Plowman Daughter 9     Milford
Sarah Marsden Widow 52 Patient    

1891 Census (Needles View) Brook Road, Cottage Home

Name Status Age Role Profession Birthplace
Frances Plowman Widow 58 Matron Matron Milford
Ellen Angove Spinster 52 Boarder   Cornwall
Rebeckah Danty Married 38 Boarder   Blandford
Mary Webbing Married 36 Boarder   Warwick
Bessie Townsend Spinster 28 Boarder Dressmaker Exeter
Mary Drunant Spinster 25 Boarder Laundress Suffolk
Alice Drunant Spinster 26 Boarder   London
Louisa Domone Spinster 17 Boarder   London
Bessie Dawcaster Spinster 15 Boarder   Lymington
Emily Stocker Spinster 15 Boarder   London
Mirner Pillingtore Spinster 12 Boarder   Windsor

1901 Census Convalescent Home

Name Status Age Role Profession Birthplace
Louisa Head Spinster 40 Head Matron Kinson, Dorset
Phoebe Head Spinster 37 Sister Assistant Matron Kinson, Dorset
Ethel Head Spinster 18 Patient Domestic housemaid Carshalton
Clara Turnley Widow 41 Patient   Portsmouth
Elizabeth Measure Married 39 Patient   London
Ethel Measure Spinster 11 Patient   London
Sarah Ager Spinster 33 Patient Book folder/binder London
Amelia Bailey Spinster 19 Patient Domestic housemaid London
Martha Cannell Spinster 19 Patient Laundry maid Tilbury, Glos.
Eveline Barnard Spinster 17 Patient Book folder/binder London
Elizabeth Moon Spinster 31 Patient Sewing machinist London



The will (dated December 7, 1893) with a codicil (dated March 12, 1894) of Miss Adeline Harding, of The Grove, Lymington, Hants, who died on August 30, was proved on September 22 by Major Francis Douglas Lumley, the nephew, one of the executors, the value of the personal estate amounting to over £34,000. The testatrix bequeaths her books, plate, pictures and china, with a few exceptions, to go as heirlooms with her residence, The Grove and her wines, linen, furniture, with one or two exceptions, household effects, horses and carriages, to her nephew, Major Lumley.

She appoints the estate of her late brother, Major-General Francis Pym Harding, to her nephews Francis Douglas Lumley, William Frederick Pym, Harry Lockyer Reginald Pym, Francis Harding Pym and Samuel Arnott Pym, in equal shares. Her property The Grove, except two fields, she devises to the use of her said nephew Major F. D.Lumley for life, with remainder to his first and other sons successively, according to seniority in tail male.

As to the residue of her property, she gives one moiety to the said Major Lumley and the other moiety to the said Mr. W.F. Pym, Mr. H.L.R. Pym and Mr. S.A. Pym in equal shares.




Frederick Whiteford Pym R.N. was the mate on the Arctic exploring vessel Assistance. It was this ship which had to be abandoned in 1854 after being trapped in the ice. Fortunately the crew were able to return home in other vessels. An island between Portland Island and the Saanich Peninsula was named Pym Island in Frederick’s honour.

Frederick married Augusta Caroline Harding (1830-1881), Adeline Harding’s sister, and they had four sons, William Frederick born 1858, Francis Harding born 1860, Harry Reginald Lockyer born 1861 and Samuel Arnott born 1863.

These were the nephews whom Adeline appointed her executers and heirs in 1893. The estate which included Grove House and the Cottage Convalescent Home was left in equal shares to include Major F. D. Lumley, who had married Julia Mary Harding, Adeline’s niece.


Unlike his brothers, William did not follow a military career. He entered the church and in 1891 became Curate of Pokesdown Church, Christchurch. After 1908 until his death, he served as Curate then Vicar of Great Barford Church, Bedfordshire. When he died in 1920, he bequeathed the Cottage Home to his son the Rev. Alexander John William Pym (1889-1974). It was Alexander who sold the Home to Norah Taylor in1927.


Francis left boarding school and in 1881 began his studies at Coopers Hill College, Egham, Surrey. This was a college run with the specific purpose of training engineers for the Government of India. Francis married Katherine Parry in 1884 and in 1890 was initiated in the Lodge of Industry at Hyde, Cheshire, where he lived at the Manse. He and Katherine had four children, Francis, Adeline, William and Hypatia. William was killed in action in the first World war and was commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, France.


Harry was a military man. In 1878 at the age of 17 he was a Lieutenant and by 1881 was stationed at the Royal Marine’s Artillery Headquarters. Six years later he had been promoted to Captain at the Royal Military Artillery Division, Eastney Barracks, Hampshire.

In 1891, Harry was serving aboard HMS Immortalité

In 1894, Harry inherited from Aunt Adeline’s estate in Lymington so was able to retire at his own request with a gratuity of £2000. He and his first wife, Mary Ellen had no children and when she died he remarried and eventually retired to Hove where he died in 1943.


Samuel was a solicitor at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He had five children, Mary Adeline, Frederick, Joan, Freda and Winifred. He retired early at the age of 48 and lived in Cheltenham until he died at the age of 65.



Adeline Harding who died in 1894, bequeathed Grove House to her nephew who was then Major Lumley. She also appointed him as one of her executors to oversee the Cottage Home.

Francis Lumley joined the 77th Regiment as a sub-lieutenant in 1875 and by 1879 was an Assistant Musketry Instructor. After promotion to Instructor, he served in Burma and India where, under his leadership, the Regiment was recognised as the best shooting regiment in the British Army.

Francis was promoted from Captain to Adjutant and then Major. In 1900 he was appointed ADC to General Tucker and participated in many operations in the South African war later commanding the second Battalion. He was mentioned in dispatches, was awarded the Queen’s South African medal with five clasps and was appointed a Companion of the Bath.

Francis retired in 1911 but rejoined in 1914 to train the Thames-Medway Reserve Brigade. In 1918 he was in command of a large camp near Boulogne. He was awarded the C.B.E.

He died in 1925 and was buried with military honours at Hawley, Hampshire. Information from The Die-Hards, Journal of the Middlesex Regiment, February 1926

Military activities prevented him from living at Grove House which was rented out and eventually sold in 1920 to Lt General Sir Henry Merrick Lawson KCB CB


Abstract of Title of Miss Norah Caroline Taylor to Messuage and Three Gables, Waterford, Lymington

In 1927, having reviewed the Agreement made by Adeline and Margaret Harding with the then Vicar and Churchwardens in 1888, the current Trustees decided it was impractical to carry on the Home and the Charity so Montague Robert Bethune Vicar of the Parish of Lymington and Wardens Edward Hapgood JP of 19 High Street and Richard Bower of 77 High Street, Builder and Contractor, agreed to sell the land and property to Norah Taylor of Redholme, Lymington for the sum of £675.

The Hardings’ determination to keep the Home running in memory of their much loved brother Francis depended on having a Grove Trustee or a relative living within 5 miles of Lymington. Nephew Francis Lumley, who had been left the estate for life, died 4/12/1925 with no son to succeed.

Nephew the Rev. William Frederick Pym died 10/4/1920. He did have a son, Rev Alexander John William Pym who lived in Bedford and had no wish to be a Trustee. In fact he was ‘desirous of exiting such Disentailing assurance’ contained in the Deed of 1888. In 1926 the Charity Commissioners agreed to his request.

In the Conveyance dated 13/5/1927, Rev Bethune, Edward Hapgood and Richard Bower, being sole Trustees of the Charity known as the Cottage Convalescent Home, Lymington, conveyed the message and premises to the use of Norah Caroline Taylor. The sale was of a ‘piece of land situated in Westfield Road and forming parts of lots 138 and 139 of the Waterford Freehold Allotment.’

Wootten and Wallis, Solicitors, Cambridge.



Norah Taylor , Waterford, Lymington, Spinster, sold the house, now known as Three Gables, and the land comprising lots 138,139,146 and 147, the complete inheritance of Adeline and Margaret Harding, to Margaret Emily Allen, 97 Shirley Avenue, Southampton, on September 19th, 1936 for £1100. Solicitors dealing with the search were Moore, Trestrail and Blatch

Three Gables became a Private School with Margaret Allen as School Principal. In1939 Winifred Firth (born 1910) was an Assistant Mistress there.

Margaret was divorced from William Campbell Allen with whom she had two daughters, Jane Margaret Campbell, born 1914, and Ann Millicent, born 1916. They were both teachers. Also living in the house in 1939 was Margaret’s mother, Lydia L. M. Powles born 1866, and Ann P Powell, born 1933.

When Margaret Allen died 21 February 1966, she left the land, house and school to her elder daughter, Jane Allen of St John’s College, York.

Jane sold part of her inheritance to Lagonda Developments Ltd. on 1 November 1984 for £33,110. 50 ft fronted Westfield Road while the depth was 90 feet. It was stipulated that no more than two houses should be built and then no more than two storeys. On the following day, Jane sold the house and the rest of the land to Leigh and Rona Roy for £67,000.



3 Gables decked out for the Coronation 1953

Margaret Allen also left her daughter Jane a third share and net income until sale in ‘all that piece or parcel of marsh or meadow pasture land site at Waterford and having a frontage in Normandy Lane which piece and parcel of land was for the identification on a Deed of Covenant June 1954 made between Claire Angela Fraser and Lady Hilda Deverell and the said Margaret Allen and Lady Ellen Mary Goldsmith.’

Jane’s name is to be found on the plaque on what is now overgrown marshland, together with the names Mrs Nausa Pinkney and Lady Deverell, commemorating the fact that they donated the land to Hampshire County Council for the benefit of the town and its people. Sadly the view to the Needles has been obscured.


Descendants of James Harding (1787-1868)