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Written by JulieW
(11/26/2006 11:25 a.m.)
The parish has notorious connections with royalty. About 1788 the Prince of Wales rented Kempshott House as a hunting lodge. He brought Mrs. Fitzherbert here and it was said to be furnished to her taste. A 'seraglio' is said to have existed and certainly the Prince's conduct scandalised the neighbourhood. In 1795 he married Caroline of Brunswick and spent his honeymoon at Kempshott.
It was of course leased by Lord Dorchester from the owner Mr J C Crooke, by the time JA attended a ball there:
Lord Dorchester took over Kempshott House, in the year 1796, from George, Prince of Wales, who had used it as a hunting residence. At the time of the French Revolution, a large number of émigrés of high rank were entertained at Kempshott. On one occasion a grand stag-hunt was got up for their amusement, at which about five hundred horsemen were present. The foreigners were equipped, according to the French mode, with long twisted horns over their shoulders, and their grotesque appearance, it is said, much astounded the Hampshire farmers.
Constance Hill,as before, Chapter VII.
But I'll bet JA knew all about gossip sourrounding the Hall from time of the Prince of Wales residence there ; she was of course no supporter of the Prince and rather took the side of the Princess of Wales later in life.;-)
The Hall survived into the 20th century but was demolished in the early 1900s: all that now remains is the stable block and the kitchen garden.
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