In 1881, Lord Manners made a bet that he would be able to buy, train and ride the winner of the upcoming 1882 Grand National, purchasing a horse called Seaman whose owner was not convinced that he would even stand the training.
He paid £1,900 but nobody thought that Lord Manners had the experience to win at Aintree. The conditions on the day were the worst in race history, causing many of the runners to drop back leaving Manners and Seaman neck and neck with the favourite at the final fence. Suddenly, Seaman broke down and Manners had to nurse his horse past the winning post, a short head in the lead securing himself £28,000, which is the equivalent of £2.8 million today.
After the win, Seaman never raced again, but was ridden by the Manners family until he died. He is now buried in the grounds.
Although Lord Manners was wealthy, he owned no property and when he married Constance Fane in 1885, her eldest sister let Manners build Avon Tyrrell on her land with his winnings. Avon Tyrrell House was built as a calendar house with 365 windows (days), 7 outer doors (days per week), 52 rooms (weeks), 12 Chimneys (months) and 4 wings (seasons) and was designed and built by the Arts and Crafts architect W.R. Lethaby and was completed in 1891. It is reportedly the last built Calendar House in the country.
The house was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War as an intelligence gathering post, hospital and morgue. The Manners family never moved back but in 1946 the House and Grounds were put into a Trust and subsequently Avon Tyrrell was entrusted to the “Youth of the Nation” and officially opened by Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) in July 1949.
The Charity through the years has changed its name but has never stopped delivering what the Manners family gave the House and grounds for, to provide outdoor adventure, courses and personal development opportunities for young people helping them realise their potential and experience, learn and develop. Avon Tyrrell is home to the registered charity UK Youth and the current Lord Manners and his family still actively support the work of the Charity at Avon Tyrrell today
Avon Tyrrell is home to the UK Youth National Charity and the work that we do in the New Forest is only a small part of the wider work of the charity and the opportunities we provide for young people.
Avon Tyrrell and the New Forest look incredible in the Autumn and Winter months so if you're looking to get away with your group, cosy up in one of our lodges or stay in our main house, we have some great deals available.