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Harmony Hall later Queenwood College

Two unique educational establishments in East Tytherley

Harmony HallEast Tytherley Manor House

In 1839 Sir Francis GOLDSMID leased land at East Tytherley to socialist reformer Robert OWEN.  His aim was to create a pioneering project in community living.  The house he built could accommodate 700 but never reached this number. Harmony Hall was one of several similar places around the country.  The project was never a success and went bankrupt in a few years.

Arrival of the Quakers

The estate was then leased to the Society of Friends in 1847 to enable a school to be established.  George EDMONDSON was the head.  The school was renamed Queenwood College after the old Queen Wood where it was built.  The intention was to create a school that was dedicated to teaching science and physics.  Part of this was the construction of a science laboratory.  Among the teaching staff was scientist John TYNDALL who joined in 1847.  Another scientist was Edward FRANKLAND who joined in 1847 but only stayed there for a year.

George EDMONDSON

George EDMONDSON was born on 8 September 1797 to parents John and Jane in Lancaster.  The entry is in the Quaker Birth Register for Lancaster.  In 1861 he had a teaching staff of 5, 12 servants and 74 pupils.  He died on 15 May 1863 with his will proved by his widow Anne on 9 July.  His estate was under £5,000.  After his death the new principal was Charles WILLMORE.  He remained in charge until the college closed and he died in a fire there in 1902.

Charles WILLMORE

Charles WILLMORE was born on 10 January 1832 to parents Benjamin and Hannah in Leighton Buzzard BDF.  Sister Sarah Elizabeth was born on 27 June 1829 in the same place.  Both entries are in the Quaker Register in Buckingham.  In 1871 Charles was a bachelor with his sister Sarah Elizabeth SPARKS as the housekeeper.  Sarah was married to Henry who was the drawing and writing master.  They had 10 month old daughter Hannah with them.  Other masters were James BOTTOMLEY, George John RICHARDS and Thomas Edmund GRICE.  There were 15 servants with 65 pupils.

 Queenwood College

 The college continued until Charles WILLMORE retired in 1896. The owner Captain DALGETY spent money on adapting the property to become a poultry farm.  William PAUNCEFOOT and Thomas WHITTAKER ran it together.  In 1901 William DUNCOMBE was in residence and was an electrical engineer as well poultry farmer.  After Charles WILLMORE retired he stayed in the house and in 1901 there were also 7 former pupils boarding in the house.

End of Queenwood

On 10 June 1902 a fire broke out in the building destroying it. All the occupants escaped apart from Charles WILLMORE who unfortunately died.  Verdict at the inquest was death from smoke suffocation.  Very detailed reports of the fire and inquest were printed in the Hampshire Telegraph 14 June 1902.  The remains of the building were unsafe and were demolished in 1904.

Roy Montgomery

Research Centre

Latest News

Winchester Independent Register – RG4-726

The registers for the Independent Chapel start in 1716 and many entries contain useful details. The spelling of the names written here are exactly as they were written into the register.  Different ministers conducting the baptisms decided to record different items of information in addition to the dates and names. 


Over Wallop village booklet now available

Over Wallop, once also known as Upper Wallop, (VB097) is located west of the A343 with the B3084 running through the Wallop valley from south-east to north-west.  The Wallop Brook rises in the parish and flows south-east.  The hamlet of Palestine is in the north


Stratfield Saye village booklet now available

Stratfield Saye village booklet   Stratfield Saye (VB096) is located west of the A33 with the Berkshire county border along the Roman road to Silchester forming the parish boundary to the north. Originally the parish included Beech Hill in Berkshire until 1868 when that hamlet became a civil and ecclesiastical parish.


Don’t Always Believe It Update

Duplicate entries in parish registers Resulting from an enquiry recently received in the Research Center a very good example of duplicate entries in registers was found in Nutley and Preston Candover.


Poor Law Union Gazette – 1

Poor Law Union Gazette – 1 Newspapers are a very good source of information on some of our ancestors but they rarely give such detailed information on individuals as that found in the Poor Law Union Gazette.


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