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Former Enham Alamein Museum and Estate Office

A Grade II Listed Building in Enham Alamein, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.239 / 51°14'20"N

Longitude: -1.4743 / 1°28'27"W

OS Eastings: 436796

OS Northings: 149002

OS Grid: SU367490

Mapcode National: GBR 72D.63M

Mapcode Global: VHC2S.D4G0

Plus Code: 9C3W6GQG+J7

Entry Name: Former Enham Alamein Museum and Estate Office

Listing Date: 24 June 1983

Last Amended: 21 August 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1264699

English Heritage Legacy ID: 139496

Location: Enham Alamein, Test Valley, Hampshire, SP11

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Enham Alamein

Built-Up Area: Enham Alamein

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Smannell with Enham Alamein

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

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House, latterly used as Enham Alamein Museum and offices. Circa 1550, with an inserted C17 brick stack, altered and extended in the C18 or early C19. Its stands within Enham Alamein Village, which was established in 1919 as Enham Village Centre.


Former open hall house, later a pair of cottages; c1550, with C17 and C18 or early C19 alterations and extensions, adapted as a museum and offices in the later C20.

Timber frame, the southern half exposed with rendered panels or painted brick infill, the northern half clad or replaced in painted brick. Brick stack and additions, thatched roof.

Two cells or bays of a former three-cell house aligned roughly north-south, of which the southern, former parlour bay, has been demolished. The current southern bay was originally a central open hall, later floored over to create a one-and-a-half storey building, and into which first a timber chimney and in the C17 a brick stack was built, with a winder stair against the stack. A blocked doorway in the west wall opposite the stack, in the line with the chimney, suggests that the stack was inserted at the lower end of the hall, the insertion of the stack creating a lobby entry plan.

At a later date the house was divided into two cottages and stairs were added against the stack in the northern cell, in a similar position to the earlier stair. A lower half-bay, also of one-and-a-half storeys with a half-hipped roof, was built to the north, probably in the late C18 or early C19.

The framing is of small square panels with now mainly brick infill in the outer walls. Where it is visible, the C16 timber frame has jowled posts, the hall bay marked by long curved braces; elsewhere there are straight braces. Clearer on the inside is the position of a former window on the west wall. Probably in the later C18 or early C19 the southern end wall, formerly an internal wall, was infilled with much lighter framing, while elsewhere the building was altered and repaired and extended to the north. The entrance is currently on the west elevation of the northern cell and has a cambered arched head. Windows are C20 timber casements, one on the W elevation with a cambered arched head; some have diamond lattice leaded lights. Upper floor windows are eyebrow dormers.

Within the southern cell, and on the upper floor of the northern cell, the cill beam, jowled posts and braces are exposed on the outer walls and internal cross wall. Central to the N wall and now internal, is a substantial jowled post. The ground floor spine beam has a 2” chamfer with run out stops. There is a blocked doorway in the west wall opposite the stack.

A smoke-blackened horizontal timber built into the west side of the chimney is connected to a rafter on the east slope of the roof where it supports a section of the brick chimney above. Its presence is not fully understood: it may be reused from the timber chimney, or remain in situ from that chimney, incorporated to strengthen the inserted brick stack or additions to it.

The building has a queen post truss roof with clasped side purlins and straight wind-braces. There is wattle and daub infill in the truss at the northern end of the hall, below the collar. The hall roof is smoke-blackened.

Within the roofspace there is an inserted collar between the purlins, approximately in the centre of the bay. Mortices on the top and bottom faces strongly suggest that this formed part of a timber chimney. On the east side of the roof to the north of the collar, ie within the chimney space, there is a sooted lath and plaster lining on the under side of the rafters, encasing the purlins and windbrace and returning on the north side of the inserted collar. This is the remains of the lining of the timber chimney.


The building, which housed the museum and symbolises Enham Alamein Village, is a timber-framed house built c1550 in the local vernacular tradition. The date is based on the presence of long curved braces, here used in the hall, in conjunction with straight braces used elsewhere in the building. The dendrological sequence of dated buildings in Hampshire suggests a transition c1550 from the use of long curved braces, the earlier form of construction that was generally out of use by the mid-C16, to a preference for straight braces. Built with an open hall, the house was altered or improved first by the construction of a timber chimney, and then in the C17 when a brick stack was inserted. It was later divided into a pair of cottages - possibly in the later C18 or early C19 when there was extensive work to the building.

From the 1970s to the early 2000s it housed the Enham estate office and museum. It is adjacent to the late C19 reading room, which was remodelled and enlarged in the later C20 as the chapel of St George, and serves as a memorial to the Battle of El Alamein.

Enham Village Centre
Impressed by work being undertaken in France and Italy, in 1916 a group, which later became the Village Centres Council, initiated plans in Britain to ensure there was adequate care and training for those disabled by the First World War. Enham Place, a private estate of 1,027 acres comprising the principal house, and cottages and buildings were acquired, the project supported by King George and Queen Mary, who in 1915 had been instrumental in setting up the Star and Garter Committee to look into the provision of care for invalid and incurable servicemen injured in the First World War. The Council envisaged that a number of villages would be established, but in the event Enham was the only scheme to be realised.

Enham Village Centre opened in 1919, providing housing, rehabilitation and employment for disabled servicemen. This innovative and unique project provided training in trades such as horticulture, forestry, farming, woodcraft, poultry rearing, electrical fitting, basket making carpentry and joinery. By the following year, 50 ex-servicemen had been admitted and by 1921 there had been 510 admissions. Whilst some men were discharged, others and their families, known as settlers, chose to remain. As the community expanded, as well as workshops, further cottages and bungalows and the Landale Wilson Institute (1925-6) were built. They were designed by William Harding Thompson and built under the auspices of Village Centres Cottages Ltd, established in 1921.

In the Second World War, Enham Industries, the commercial arm of the charity, produced barrage balloons and Nissen huts. Many of the injured from the Battle of Alamein (1942) were sent to Enham Village Centre to recuperate. In November 1945 as a mark of gratitude for allied support, £600,000 was raised by public subscription in Egypt, of which £225,000 was donated to Enham for the provision of an Alamein Village and ancillary buildings. In recognition, the name Alamein was appended to its name.

Since 1945 the charity has expanded, to cover a wider range of disabilities, being the first to include women residents and the first to help disabled people into self-employment. In 2013 the charity was renamed Enham Trust, its aim to create more opportunities for more disabled people to live with greater independence, learn new skills and find work.

Reasons for Listing

The former Enham Alamein Museum, a house of c1550, altered in the C17 and later, and used as the showcase for Enham Village Centre, established in 1919 and renamed Enham Alamein Village in 1945, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Plan and construction: two bays of a mid-C16 timber-framed house, the construction representative of the date and area; originally an open hall, it has the remains of an intermediary timber chimney, built before the insertion of a C17 brick stack;

* Historic interest: the focal point of the village of Enham, which was built under the auspices of Village Centres Council to rehabilitate injured and disabled servicemen in the aftermath of the First World War, and is unique as the only scheme to be realised. Its name was later amended to Enham Alamein, in recognition of public funding received from Egypt after the Second World War as a mark of gratitude for allied support.

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