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 for £1900 whose owner was not convinced that he would even stand the training. 

Nobody thought that Lord Manners had the experience to win at Aintree and 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. 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 £3.6 million today.  After the win, Seaman never raced again, but was ridden by the Manners family until he died and was laid to rest in the grounds.

Although Lord Manners was wealthy, he owned no property and when he married Constance Fane in 1885, her eldest sister let Lord 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 and is regarded as exceptional national importance, thus it is a listed building Grade I.

The house was used as a convalescent home for injured New Zealand soldiers in World War One and 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 by the family for use by the “Youth of the Nation” and the National Association of Girls Clubs and Mixed Clubs (now UK Youth) became the custodians of the site, holding it on a long lease on peppercorn rent.  It was 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 learning programmes and personal development opportunities for young people helping them experience, learn and develop.  Lord Manners and his family still actively support the work of the Charity at Avon Tyrrell today.

UK Youth
About UK Youth

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.

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Time: 2021-03-26 08:58