Our house and its grounds was previously known, in the early 19th century, as Brixedone and formed part of a much larger privately owned estate. Between 1935 and 1940, the estate belonged to the Thistlethwayte family of whom, many surviving Southampton residents of the second world war years, hold fond memories.
During the first weekend of September 1940, intensive bombing of Southampton docks saw families fleeing for safe refuge and, on hearing this, the Thistlethwayte’s ventured out in their cars to rescue as many as possible and bring them back to Brixedone for shelter. Whenever possible, each family occupied their own room, with everybody sharing the large kitchen. Food was supplied by the Ministry of Food for the period that they were there until other accommodation was found for them.
Soon after, Brixedone was taken over by the Royal Marines who remained in occupancy until some time after the war. In 1948, the Thistlethwayte’s sold the entire estate which included a farm and approximately 400 acres up river. The latter is better known today as the Upper River Hamble Country Park. The main house and immediate grounds including a cottage, comprising approximately five acres, was sold to the Southampton and South West Hampshire Health Authority and became Bursledon Children’s Hospital.
In 1989, the hospital was purchased by the Drug Safety Research Unit at which point it became Bursledon Hall.