Walhampton’s Digital Archive

Walhampton is a thriving independent Preparatory school in the New Forest. Whilst originally set up in 1948 as a boys’ boarding school, it is now co-educational with day and boarding pupils age 3-13 years.

Each year the school calendar is filled with interesting learning and social events which we capture and report in our weekly Mercury newsletter and social media. We are delighted to now have an online archive where these digital records can be stored, in addition to the wealth of material that is housed in our physical archive. Our aim is to scan our archive materials so that they too can be searched and referenced online.

Below is an overview of the history of Walhampton, further details of which can be found in the Timeline.



Walhampton Manor was recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086. It was owned by gentry, monks and monarchs over the centuries, before being bought by the famous Burrard family who resided there for over two centuries (1668 – 1888).  In the early 1900s it was bought by Lady St.Cyres who renovated and added greatly to the house such as it appears today. In 1948, having been used as a convalescence home for American forces during the war, Walhampton was bought by Audrey Brewer and became a school.

Read More


Walhampton first became a school in 1948 when Audrey ‘Dordie’ Brewer bought the house and became headmistress. It was a period of strict schooling and John Bradfield (JB) came as a welcome change when he bought the school from Mrs Brewer in 1954, accompanied by Peter Lawford. JB brought with him not just a much needed injection of capital to the school but also a sense of all round education that stretched far beyond the academic. He led the school until 1983 when Andrew Robinson took on the headship until his retirement in 1997 when Henry Philips took over, at the same time as the school merger with Hordle House. In 2012 when Henry retired, and was succeeded by Titus Mills. In 2021 our current Headmaster, Jonny Timms joined the school. 


Hordle House, sited on the top of Hordle Cliff, Milford-on-Sea, was founded in 1926, by the Reverend Ernest Whately-Smith and quickly reached its capacity of 60 pupils.

In 1940 whilst 67 of its Old Boys were in uniform serving their country at home and abroad and the south Hampshire coast became too perilous for the school to continue in situe, the school was evacuated to Underley Hall in Cumbria, not to return until 1945.

In 1950 the founder’s sons, Peter and John Whately-Smith became the joint headmasters of the school, followed by John Vernon in 1972. The final headmaster of the school, Henry Philips, ran the school until 1994 and moved with the newly merged Hordle Walhampton school in 1997 to remain as headmaster until 2012.