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Local Area

Alton House Hotel is close to many popular local attractions and beautiful countryside.  Our reception staff will be happy to share local knowledge and help you plan your day out.

See below for links to some of our favourite local attractions including The Curtis Museum, The Watercress Line and Jane Austen’s House in Chawton.

You may also be interested in our hotel history, which stands on land previously occupied by the medieval leper hospital of St Mary Magdalen. See below for more information!

Alton Abbey

Founded in 1895 on land known as Kingswood Corpse the Abbey is located just four miles outside Alton. The lovely and most peaceful gardens are open for visitors anytime during daylight. The Abbey is an Anglican Benedictine Monastery known for assisting and caring for destitute and distressed seamen in past years.

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Chawton House

The house has undergone centuries of change and development as it passed through different hands, making it rich with quirky and fascinating features. Jane Austen whose brother, Edward, inherited the house when distant family member, Thomas and Catherine Knight, made him their heir. The hose is located a short walk from Jane Austen’s house and is well worth a visit.

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The Curtis Museum

The Curtis Museum located a short walk from the hotel has history displays which include prehistoric tools, Roman pottery reconstruction, Saxon burials, Battle of Alton 1643, the notorious tale of Sweet Fanny Adams, hop picking and brewing.

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Gilbert White's House

In nearby Selborne is Gilbert White's House. Gilbert White is regarded by many as England's first ecologist. In 1789 he wrote 'The Natural History of Selborne' one of the greatest and influential history works of all time.

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Jane Austen's House

The house in Chawton is regarded as Jane's literary home where she led a quieter life and resumed her writing. Often Jane would shop in Alton where her brother Henry, a London banker, had a branch bank at No 10 High Street.

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Sweet Fanny Adams

Fanny Adams was a young child who was cruelly murdered in Flood Meadows, Alton, in 1867. Her murderer, Frederick Baker, was hanged at Winchester Gaol in front of a crowd of 5000 on Christmas Eve that year. Fanny’s grave and memorial lie in the old cemetery located off Old Odiham Road in Alton.

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The Allen Gallery

An intimate setting for one of the outstanding collections of ceramics in the south of England. With over 3000 pieces in the museum the exceptional display of ceramics holds something of interest to all visitors. There is a coffee and tea lounge serving light snacks. Their walled garden provides a peaceful retreat. The Allen Gallery is located in the centre of town.

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Watercress Line

More than one hundred and fifty years old and still going strong. The Watercress Line runs along the edge of the South Downs National park between Alton and Alresford with stops at Ropley Station where you can enjoy a stroll or picnic. The fare gives you all day unlimited travel. Special events are held throughout the year.

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Hotel History

The first known building on the site of Alton House Hotel were those of the medieval leper hospital of St Mary Magdalen. At least some of the buildings were still standing in 1818 when the corner plot was sold off.

Four years later, the main property was sold and by 1828 a ‘lately erected mansion’ could be seen here. One of the first owners was Rev. John Banister who ran a gentlemen’s preparatory school.

In 1845, Alton House was bought by John Edward Spicer of the Paper Mill.  He chose to live next door renting ‘Beckington House’ (as it was then called) out to various tenants.

1867 saw the property coming into the hands of Sir George Samuel Brooke-Pechell and the name changed to ‘Alton House’.

After Sir George died there were other occupiers including Mrs Bentinck who died in 1924. The house then stayed empty until 1932 when it was acquired by artist Charles Henry Duckett who tried to turn it into a Country Club.

Failing to pay it’s way it became the ‘Alton House Hotel’. When the mail steamer ‘Mauritania’ was broken up in 1935 it’s canvas swimming bath was installed for visitors to use.  (The swimming pool no longer exists.)

After WWII the hotel was enlarged with the addition of the side wings, a banqueting hall and extra bedrooms – giving the elegant building we see today.

© Jane Hurst

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