Coordinates: 51°22′03″N 1°22′29″W / 51.3675°N 1.3747°W / 51.3675; -1.3747

Bourne House, East Woodhay, lies at the north western tip of the parish of Widehaye in the Evingar hundred, in Hampshire, England.

Bourne house, with a then small but neat estate of 30 acres (120,000 m2), five cottages, etc, was still described as Bourne cottage when it was sold to divine and writer Philip Antoine de Teissier (1819–1891) in 1872. Whether cottage ornée, 17 hearth villa, or today’s dacha, back in 1853, a notice advertising its impending sale by auction in The Times of 1 March 1853 (page 12, column e) called it thus :

(* trout stream = the River Auborn, Enn or Enborne).

The Barons de Teissier

The Rev. Philip Antoine de Teissier was the third son of James (first Baron) de Teissier (1794–1868), of Woodcote Park, Epsom, Surrey, who had been created a Baron of France by King Louis XVIII of France on 4 December 1819:

The De Teissiers had the house from 1872 to 1910.

After Corpus Christi College, Oxford (matric. 1837), Philip de Teissier held about 12 curacies between 1842 and 1871. He wrote five books including Voices of the Dead (London, 1875) and Sermons upon the Lord’s Supper (London, 1878). In 1891 Philip de Teissier, (by then third Baron de Teissier) died unmarried and childless at the Westminster Palace Hotel, London, leaving effects valued at £57,170. The house passed to his brother General (Henry) Price (fourth Baron) de Teissier (1820–1895), described as ‘of Fetcham-grove, Leatherhead’, and then of both of ‘Fetcham-grove and Bourne-house’. General Baron de Teissier is unlikely to have used it much in the four years before he died and it then passed to his son, Henry (fifth) Baron de Teissier (1862-25 June 1931). This later Henry also does not appear to have occupied. He lived in various parts of London. In 1904, for example, he was at 27, Prince’s Gardens, Kensington. He sold Bourne House in 1910, and died of 30, The Avenue, Upper Norwood, Surrey leaving effects valued at £1,535 15s 3d to his wife, Agneta Mary, Baroness de Teissier.

Ernest Wills

Sir Ernest Wills, third Bart., (1869–1958), of the Bristol tobacco firm W. D. & H. O. Wills, had the house for three and a half years, 1920–1923, after the First World War just before and after he inherited his baronetcy and another house on the comparatively early death of his brother in October 1921. Up to 1920 he had lived at Ramsbury Manor, Wiltshire. He died in 1958, effects valued at £766,556. Bourne House would have been a convenient short term home for such a keen breeder of racehorses, follower of the Craven and Tedworth hounds and player of tennis. In 1920 he already had Meggernie Castle, Glenlyon, Perthshire, Scotland, and went on to possess the 8,000-acre (32 km2) Littlecote estate near Hungerford (leased from 1922, freehold from 1929). A director of Imperial Tobacco, he was the last of his family to be directly involved in the business.

John William Douglas

John William Douglas had the house for five years from 1923 to 1928. His most obvious legacy were the brass labels for the keys to the outbuildings, which suggests that he therefore at the same time may have sorted everything else out. The bell board was probably his.

Arthur Southwell

Irish Peer, Sir Arthur Southwell, seventh Bart., the fifth Viscount Southwell (1872–1944) and his family had it for 17 years from 1929 to 1946. Southwell was in the Royal Monmouthshire Engineers Militia, the Shropshire Yeomanry and was a Lt. Colonel in the Machine Gun Corps. During World War II Southwell led the local A.R.P., the dining-room at Bourne house was therefore used as the control room. They were probably responsible for the south front bay window extensions. He married Dorothy Walrond in 1897. She, who died in 1952, was the daughter of the first Lord Waleran. She created a Japanese garden, some plants and the rockery of which were extant in 2006.

The 1946 sale particulars described it as a :


Main local events:

  • 1818: enclosures
  • 1847: Newbury railway station on the Berks and Hants Railway, aka, Great Western Railway, Hungerford Branch, opens
  • 1850: separate ecclesiastical parish of Woolton Hill formed
  • 1882: Railway line Newbury to Didcot opens
  • 1885: Woodhay station (one mile away) on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway opens (closes 1960)
  • 1946: The first Heathrow Airport departure, January
  • 1972: M4 motorway reaches junction 13
  • 1985: Vodafone was launched, January 1
  • 1998: Second Newbury bypass opens (part of the A34, Preston to Winchester Trunk Road)